DETROIT - Davante Adams staggered through Ford Field’s visitors’ locker room Sunday night. From a corner, teammate Jordy Nelson asked if Adams got it.
Adams, dazed in disbelief, held up three fingers.
The friendly ribbing was about to begin. Adams knew it would. Moments earlier, a PR staffer delivered the news.
He had landed on 997 yards for the season. Three short of 1,000.
“I’m sick thinking about it,” Adams said, smirking because there was nothing else he could do. “But we got the win today, and that’s really all I’m thinking about. I put my (NFC North champions) hat in my bag already, but I get to put that hat on and wear that for the rest of the day and all week. So it’s a great feeling.”
Then Adams thought about the number 997.
“I mean,” he said, “that sucks. But it is what it is.”
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It was the bounce-back season Adams desperately needed after his sophomore slump in 2015. He has emerged as a viable threat, a near-1,000-yard receiver.
Adams had two touchdown catches against the Lions, the third time this season he’s had more than one in a game. He finished with 12 touchdown catches on the year, tying Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans for second in the NFL behind league leader Nelson.
He also knows exactly what he’ll tell anyone who gives him grief about coming up thee yards short of a grand. He would have reached 1,000, Adams knew, if his 18-yard catch in the second quarter wasn’t wiped out because of a Jeff Janis holding penalty.
“They all get on me for (falling short),” Adams said, “but technically I got it. But the penalty brought it back. I just throw that back at them.
“It is what it is. We’ll have plenty other seasons to do it.”
With three more yards, the Packers would have had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers for the seventh time since 1940. Nelson finished his first season back from a torn ACL with 97 catches, 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Packers last had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in 2014, when Nelson and Randall Cobb each crossed that barrier.
Adams entered Sunday night needing 34 yards – a number he reached in 11 games this season – to cross the 1,000 barrier. He didn’t know where he stood in the middle of the game, only that he was getting close.
Later, he found out just how close.
“I knew where I was,” Adams said. “Obviously, I’m not thinking about that during the game. I’m just playing ball, and then after I talked to a PR guy, and he came up and told me I was three away from it. That sucks, but we’ve got a lot better things to look forward to.
“I’m able to look in the mirror and say I’m excited about what I did, and what’s ahead. As long as I’m healthy, I feel like I can go out and produce and do the type of things I did this year.”