How Packers’ WR corps could be bolstered by Adams

Davante Adams was a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Jeff Hanisch/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers may have sustained a devastating loss in Sunday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team fears that wide receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a torn ACL, FOX Sports 1’s NFL insider Mike Garafolo confirmed.

Coach Mike McCarthy didn’t expand on the news after the game, but said that the Packers are waiting to get back to Green Bay to get all of the information. Nelson will undergo an MRI on Monday to learn the extent of the injury.

The Packers, however, boast incredible depth at wide receiver. After re-signing Randall Cobb during free agency this offseason, they spent a third-round pick on Stanford product Ty Montgomery.

But second-year wide receiver Davante Adams figures to see his workload ramped up if Nelson misses an extended period of time.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound product from Fresno State has the potential to have a breakout season.  

Before Nelson’s injury, Adams was already figuring to be a bigger part of this offense. In the first preseason game against the New England Patriots, Adams was targeted a team-high seven times through three series with the first-team offense. He finished the game with three receptions for 17 yards.

After playing in 16 games in 2014 in which he had 38 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns, Adams had his breakout game in the divisional round of the playoffs. He finished with seven receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys, a building block entering this offseason.

During the team’s OTAs and training camp, Adams has been praised by McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"I never called out Davante by name last year. I was hoping that he would pick it up with his practice habits. But Davante is a very polished player, and he has an excellent demeanor for a guy who’s going to be a star," Rodgers said in June, via ESPN Wisconsin. "I mean, he carries himself like a star –€“ which is a very high compliment. There’s only been a few guys around here who’ve had that charisma: Charles (Woodson), Julius (Peppers), Greg (Jennings) always had it as a young player. But there’s very few guys that really ‘get it.’

"And he has supreme confidence, and it’s contagious. And I’m really proud of his approach and his attitude. It makes you want to get him the ball more. It makes you watch the film and have regrets about not giving him more opportunities. And that’s again, another compliment for him."

Without an elite tight end, the Packers typically run a lot of their offense out of three- and four-wide-receiver sets.

While Adams wasn’t considered to be a premier playmaker in his rookie season like the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr., Buccaneers’ Mike Evans or Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin, he could without a doubt become a sophomore standout with through-the-roof potential and an increasing workload.

Sunday’s preseason observations

● The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t exit Sunday’s contest unscathed. Center Maurkice Pouncey broke a bone in his ankle, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that Pouncey’s injury will likely require surgery to fix. The news is troubling for an offensive line that has ascended under position coach Mike Munchak. 

● The San Francisco 49ers played a good brand of football on Sunday: stifling defense, punishing ground game and fortuitous special teams. Running back and return specialist Jarryd Hayne continued to stand out and looks to have staying power in the NFL.

● Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota dazzled in his second preseason game on Sunday. Mariota exuded intelligence, arm strength and poise, completing 5 of 8 for 59 yards. Second-year running back Bishop Sankey may have had one of the most impressive small stretches of his career. Sankey, who finished with six carries for 45 yards (7.1 average), displayed a good blend of vision and burst against the Rams’ first-team defense.

● Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive end Randy Gregory was the "bright spot of the game," coach Jason Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota. Gregory was the No. 3-rated player in this year’s draft class, according to one AFC scout.