Aaron Nagler discusses how the Packers fared during their Family Night practice at Lambeau Field. (Aug. 5, 2017)
GREEN BAY – Montravius Adams was in the middle of a water break during his first training camp practice July 27 when he felt a sharp pain in his left foot.
The Green Bay Packers rookie thought nothing of it. From youth football through his college career, Adams said, he never missed a game or practice because of injury. Adams finished practice on that Thursday afternoon. He practiced again the next day.
It wasn’t until after his second practice, Adams said, that went to the trainers to get treatment for his foot. That's when he learned the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot was fractured.
Adams said he needed surgery to insert a screw in his fifth metatarsal, the bone connecting his pinky toe to his foot.
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“It was really depressing,” Adams said. “Most of the time, I’m just sitting in the training room. I see the guys in the meetings, but other than that I’m just in the training room trying to come back, so I can be with them.
“I don’t want to be over here (in the training room). It’s boring. I want to play football.
Adams, with a black cast on his left foot, watched his first Family Night practice on TV inside the Packers' locker room. He was unable to watch from field level.
It remains to be seen when Adams can return to the field. Asked whether there’s a chance he could be ready for the Packers' opener Sept. 10 against the Seattle Seahawks, Adams offered no specific timeline.
“I don’t know,” Adams said. “They just said after this week, we’re just going to take it one week at a time. Try to go after rehab strong and try to get back as fast as I can.”
Adams’ fracture is similar to the injury that has kept fellow rookie Vince Biegel on the physically unable to perform list in camp. Biegel, a fourth-round outside linebacker, had surgery to repair a fracture in his fifth metatarsal after rookie orientation in early May. He’s approaching the three-month mark since his surgery and has yet to return to the field.
It’s likely the Packers are being cautious with Biegel early in camp, but the fifth metatarsal is a tricky bone to heal. The bone has a higher chance of breaking again, according to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. Teams are often cautious with a player coming off a fifth metatarsal fracture.
If Adams is still far from returning to the field at the end of camp, the Packers could place him on injured reserve and use one of their two designations for a return midway through the season. That wouldn’t be ideal, especially because Adams has yet to participate in a padded practice, and he would be unable to practice through the season’s first eight weeks.
Perhaps it’s more likely the Packers carry Adams on their initial 53-man roster out of camp, and keep him inactive on game day until he’s had enough practices to be ready to play. The extra practice time could be important for his development.
Adams said he’s trying to make the best out of his first football injury.
“I learned things happen,” Adams said. “Everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was just a setback for me to get in my plays more, build off it and just get stronger. Right now, I’m just trying to look at the positives, and just keep going until I can get back.”