Packers notes: Jamaal Williams leaves in ambulance after head and neck injuries

Packers notes: Jamaal Williams leaves in ambulance after head and neck injuries

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Jamaal Williams - Eagles Packers

Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams signals to the Lambeau Field crowd as he's taken off the field in the first half Thursday. 

GREEN BAY — Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams left Lambeau Field in an ambulance Thursday night, following a hard helmet-to-helmet hit on the Packers’ first offensive play of their 34-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Williams was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for head and neck injuries, the team said. He did have movement in all his extremities and was able to give his teammates a thumbs-up with his left hand as he was placed on a backboard and a gurney. He then raised his right hand and gave the “peace” sign and a No. 1 sign to fans as he was wheeled into the Packers tunnel and off the field.

Williams was injured after the Packers opened the game in a two-back set with Williams, who went into the game with a preexisting neck injury that landed him on the injury report, and Aaron Jones, who was also listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury.

On the play, quarterback Aaron Rodgers dropped back and threw a screen pass to Williams, who was hit immediately by two Eagles defenders. After being stood up by those defenders, Williams’ forward progress appeared stopped, but Philadelphia defensive end Derek Barnett crashed into him, with Barnett’s helmet striking Williams’.

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Eagles 34, Packers 27
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Eagles 34, Packers 27
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Eagles 34, Packers 27
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Eagles 34, Packers 27
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Eagles 34, Packers 27

Williams crumpled to the turf and lay motionless immediately after the hit as Jones signaled to the Packers’ sideline to bring out medical personnel.

With Williams injured and rookie No. 3 running back Dexter Williams among the team’s inactives, the Packers were left with just Jones and fullback Danny Vitale to play in the backfield.

Adams comes alive

After spending the week talking about how No. 1 wide receiver Davante Adams needed to be more involved in the offense after being targeted only four times in Sunday’s win over Denver, Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Rodgers wasted no time showing how serious they were.

On the Packers’ third offensive play, Rodgers hit Adams down the right sideline for a 58-yard gain, a catch that set up Jones’ 3-yard touchdown run two plays after that for a 7-0 lead. Of the Packers' five plays on that scoring drive, one was the play on which Williams was injured, one was Jones’ touchdown scamper and the other three were Rodgers-to-Adams completions for 71 total yards.

But that was only the beginning for Adams, who went on to catch six passes for 107 yards in the first quarter alone, surpassing in one quarter his previous biggest receiving output of the season (106 receiving yards against Minnesota in Week 2).

Adams later had a 40-yard catch on a free play that set up a field goal, and he went into halftime with eight receptions for 158 yards — just 40 fewer receiving yards than he’d had in the first three games combined, and more total yards than the Eagles (146) had accumulated at the break.

Adams, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a toe injury, wasn't on the field for the Packers' final drive, which ended with Rodgers throwing an interception to Nigel Bradham with 20 second remaining in the game.  

Bulaga injured

The Packers lost veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga to a shoulder injury during the first half and played with Alex Light in his place for the second half.

Bulaga was on the injury report with a shoulder injury going into the game, but he left the game after the Packers’ second-to-last possession of the first half. Light replaced him on that final drive, which ended in a 19-yard Geronimo Allison touchdown catch.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, meanwhile, was also examined by team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie on the sideline at one point during the first half and entered the medical tent for further evaluation. But Bakhtiari did not miss a snap at left tackle.

The Packers also lost cornerback Tony Brown to a hamstring injury during the first half.

Rodgers plays with injured hand

The Eagles took a 21-13 lead late in the first half on a fumble by Rodgers, with the fumble-causing hit by Barnett having left Rodgers wincing in pain and gripping with his right hand.

Rodgers actually injured the hand during last week’s win over Denver and he appeared to be in pain after the fumble, which the Eagles recovered at Green Bay’s 17-yard line. Rodgers was examined on the sideline by McKenzie and athletic trainer Nate Weir and even threw on the sideline with backup quarterback Tim Boyle to test his hand before staying in the game.

It was a good thing he did, too — Rodgers led the Packers on a 70-yard touchdown drive in just 50 seconds to pull the Packers within 21-20 at the half with his touchdown pass Allison.

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