Adams’ record chase a bright spot in Packers’ lost season
GREEN BAY, Wis. — At some point soon, Davante Adams will reach out to an old friend, someone who instilled the kind of good habits that have helped make the Green Bay Packers star one of the best receivers in the NFL.
Adams might even break a record held by his buddy and former teammate, Jordy Nelson.
Adams has 1,315 yards receiving going into this weekend’s game against the New York Jets, 205 yards shy of eclipsing the club single-season mark set of 1,519 set by Nelson in 2014.
This could be a bit of an awkward conversation when the Packers’ current and former top wideouts catch up next.
“I don’t want to bring it up, I don’t want to jinx it,” Adams said with a smile.
Nelson may even try to jinx him, too, he joked.
If he gets the record, “Jordy will definitely be one of the first ones to get a call,” Adams said this week. “If not, I’m sure he’ll hit me up before the game’s even over. It happens, we’ll see.”
Adams has a decent shot at the mark over the final two weeks in a season in which he is averaging career highs in yards per game (93.9) and catch percentage (66.2). This weekend, the Packers face the NFL’s 19th-ranked pass defense in the Jets, who are giving up 243.4 yards per game through the air.
Adams also has 100 catches for the first time in his career, leaving him 13 shy of breaking the club record set by Sterling Sharpe in 1993.
Having Aaron Rodgers behind center will help. The two-time NFL MVP appears likely to start, even with the Packers (5-8-1) already eliminated from the playoffs and Rodgers playing through injuries. The franchise quarterback was a full participant in practice at midweek with his lingering left knee injury, along with an apparent minor groin injury sustained during last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
Rodgers and Adams are the Packers’ lone selections to the Pro Bowl. Adams has been Rodgers’ most reliable receiver; Rodgers has been Adams’ biggest cheerleader.
“We’ve been saying it all year, whether or not – people have been debating, I think – or whether or not he’s an elite player, a No. 1 receiver and all this garbage. He’s had a fantastic year, and he deserves it,” Rodgers said.
Adams said he’s not keeping count with every catch, though he allows himself to acknowledge that getting the records “would be cool. We’ll see. Hopefully A-Rod’s counting.”
Nelson once had that role as Rodgers’ most trusted receiver. Adams was a rookie in 2014 when Nelson set the club receiving yards mark.
But Nelson was cut by the Packers this past March as a salary cap casualty after coming off a down 2017 season. He landed with Oakland, where he has 47 catches for 586 yards and three touchdowns.
Randall Cobb, another Packers veteran who has been a big help to Adams, is in the last year of his deal with Green Bay.
“It’s well deserved obviously, with what they’ve done with me and how they kind of taught me to go, not so much with words but with actions,” Adams said. “That’s really what sets people apart. The things they’ve been able to do for me and my career, I can’t thank them enough.”
Adams credits Nelson and Cobb for helping him establish good habits in practice, as well as dealing with media responsibilities in the locker room. He’s trying to take a similar leadership role now with younger receivers on the team.
“I never lead them in the wrong direction, I know that they understand that,” Adams said. “That’s going to lead into them taking the talent they have now and evolve it into an elite player.”
NOTES: RT Bryan Bulaga (knee) was limited for a second straight practice, a sign that the veteran starter was closer to returning after missing two games. … Cobb (concussion) and DL Kenny Clark (elbow) sat out practice again. … P JK Scott returned to practice after missing a day because of illness.