Packers reporters Ryan Wood and Michael Cohen offer their thoughts on the team's 17-7 loss to the Chiefs in their preseason finale in Kansas City. (Sept. 2, 2016)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Rookie wide receiver Trevor Davis suffered a right shoulder injury during the first quarter of the exhibition finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. He did not return to the game and spent the remainder of the evening holding his right arm in a 90-degree position.
Davis earned the start Thursday night as the Green Bay Packers withheld veteran receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to avoid injury. The rookie fifth-round pick lined up on the perimeter opposite Davante Adams, and Jared Abbrederis manned the slot.
The injury occurred on the fourth snap from scrimmage when quarterback Joe Callahan ran a play-action bootleg to the right. Callahan avoided the charge from outside linebacker Andy Mulumba, a former Packer, and generated enough time to measure a precision throw.
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He fired a dart along the right sideline toward Davis, who was blanketed in coverage by cornerback Marcus Cooper, and the rookie made an impressive 13-yard catch while falling out of bounds.
“I just landed on it awkwardly, so we’ll figure it out,” Davis said in the locker room after the game. “Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get all the tests and things like that, but I feel good about it. I don’t think it’s too bad. We’ll find out tomorrow.”
After the catch, Davis popped to his feet and returned to the field. He grabbed at his shoulder momentarily but the “adrenaline pump” worked to mute the pain temporarily.
Davis played three more snaps from scrimmage and another on punt coverage before letting the trainers inspect his shoulder. He underwent X-rays here at Arrowhead Stadium but was not informed of the results.
“It just felt weird, that was the thing,” Davis said. “It didn’t really have a lot of pain in it, just a weird feeling.”
The injury shortened what would have been Davis’ largest workload of the exhibition season. Abbrederis and Adams, the other starters, played well into the second half with Callahan at quarterback and finished as the team's top two receivers.
Abbrederis caught two passes for 49 yards, including a 40-yard reception in which he adjusted well with the ball in the air. He also returned all five punts and ripped off an eye-catching 42-yard return.
Adams caught two of five targets for 20 yards.
“This was a big game for me,” Davis said, “so it sucks to have something like this happen and not be able to play the full game. Overall, of course, I’m never really satisfied. I always want to do better and better and better. But every day is a new day, so I’ve just got to take it every day, one day at a time.”
Should the shoulder injury prove minor, Davis will make the 53-man roster for two simple reasons: 1) his speed; 2) the general manager’s infatuation with draft picks.
Davis ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds for the Packers, a mark no receiver on the roster can match. Though young, frail and inexperienced, Davis embodies the very trait last year’s offense lacked. With time to develop, there is certainly a niche in which he can contribute.
That Ted Thompson selected him with a fifth-round pick solidifies his future on the 53-man roster.
“The only thing you can do is just put your best foot forward and feel good about it and figure out what happens later,” Davis said of the wide receiver competition. “No matter what happens, just keep pushing and trying to get better every day.”
Pending, of course, the health of his shoulder.
Other injuries: Tight end Justin Perillo grabbed at his right knee following an awkward fall on an incomplete pass against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Perillo, the frontrunner to win the third tight end job, remained in the game but moved gingerly until the final horn. At times he jogged with a slight limp.
“I’ll be fine,” Perillo said on his way out of the locker room.
Safety Marwin Evans, a Milwaukee native from Oak Creek High School, endured a vicious hit on punt coverage in the fourth quarter.
While pursuing the football, Evans was sandwiched by two defenders. Linebacker Terrance Smith unleashed an illegal blindside block that flattened Evans, drew a penalty and left his target down on the field for the better part of a minute.
But Evans smiled in the locker room and said he was fine.
“It was nothing,” he said. “I just got the wind knocked out of me.”