GREEN BAY — There was no doubt that Davante Adams wanted to be on the field, even before he saw how much the Green Bay Packers offense was suffering without him. But he knew he’d been rendered useless by a painful toe injury that was going to rob him of many of the traits that make him one of the NFL’s top receivers.
Now, Adams and the Packers are hoping the turf toe injury that kept him on the sideline during the final 10 minutes of Thursday night’s 34-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles will heal sufficiently in the next nine days that he’ll be able to play on Oct. 6 against the Dallas Cowboys.
“You feel like in situations like that you let the team down. Obviously I would’ve been out there if I could,” said Adams, who caught 10 passes for a career-high 180 yards against the Eagles but went down with the injury on the Packers’ second-to-last offensive series — and watched as the offense couldn’t score the tying touchdown without him despite eight plays from inside Philadelphia’s 10-yard line (including four from the 1-yard line).
“With a toe injury and the type of player I am, what my game is based on is explosion and things like that. So if I can’t get out there and really do my thing how I want and I’m in a lot of pain, I’m sure my teammates understand that. But it’s tough, because I feel like those are the type of moments that I’m built for, and I’ve been able to capitalize in bringing home a win for my team in the past.”
NFL Network reported Adams underwent an MRI Friday and the injury is not believed to be serious, though he could miss some time.
Asked about Adams’ status Friday, Packers coach Matt LaFleur replied: “As far as long term, it’s tough to say right now. But whether he’s able to go or not, it’s going to provide some other guys some opportunities and they’re going to have to step up.”
Adams was in such pain that he wasn’t able to put a shoe on his right foot after the game and was walking with a limp. The Packers’ final possession ended with an Aaron Rodgers deflected interception on a pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Packers thought the play should have been reviewed for possible pass interference on Craig James, the cornerback who appeared to collide with Valdes-Scantling a split second before the ball arrived.
“Obviously everyone has to step up. You never want to see your No. 1 guy go down,” Valdes-Scantling said. “We’ve got a very talented wide receiver room. Anyone can play any position. That’s one thing that we always harped on from Day 1, that guys have to be able to step up because in the NFL guys get hurt all the time. You never know when a guy’s going to go down.”
Williams heads home
Running back Jamaal Williams, who spent the night at a local hospital under observation for head and neck injuries suffered on a wicked helmet-to-helmet hit on the Packers’ first offensive play of the game, was discharged Friday morning and was said to be in good spirits.
“He was Jamaal; he was himself, making jokes,” said running back Aaron Jones, who visited Williams in the hospital after the game. “The nurse was like, ‘Let me listen to your stomach.’ And he was like, ‘For what? So you can hear how empty it is?’ So yeah, he’s perfectly fine. That’s Jamaal.”
Williams posted an encouraging message on his Instagram account Friday morning, saying he was OK and thanking fans for their concern. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be cleared to play against Dallas. If he can’t go, rookie running back Dexter Williams, who was inactive for Thursday night’s game, would be Jones’ primary backup.
“We’ll have to make a decision (next week). Right now, Dexter’s on the active (roster),” LaFleur said. “Again, we’ll get into that more next week when we have a little bit more information.”
LaFleur said he sent the Packers’ final offensive play into the league office looking for a better understanding as to why the play wasn’t reviewed for possible pass interference. LaFleur was admittedly frustrated immediately after the game, not only by that play but on another pass to Valdes-Scantling down the sideline that appeared to be textbook pass interference but was not flagged. LaFleur challenged the lack of a pass interference call but the call on the field was upheld by replay.
LaFleur vented immediately after the game that, “I really don’t know what pass interference is anymore,” and it sounds like he still doesn’t.
“That’s why I get so angry in those situations,” LaFleur admitted Friday. “I knew it was PI (on the challenge). I wasn’t confident that it was going to get overturned, ‘cause I don’t know, I mean the league sends out video each week, and you know, it looks some of the other ones that have gotten overturned. But, I don’t know.”
For his part, Valdes-Scantling said he wasn’t going to bellyache about the non-calls but he did feel that both should have been flagged, including the final play that resulted in the interception.
“It was just a bang-bang play,” Valdes-Scantling said. “I definitely think there was some early contact there that kept me from putting my full ability into catching it, but it is what it is. Bang bang, the NFL. You’ve got to go out and make those plays.”