GREEN BAY - The last time Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams walked into the Atlanta Falcons’ home stadium, he was doing everything he could not to limp.
The week before, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Adams’ season all but ended when Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr landed with the force of his upper body on the receiver’s left ankle.
Adams had caught five passes for 76 yards in the divisional playoff game against the Cowboys and eight for 125 and a touchdown the week prior in a wild-card victory over the New York Giants as a topper to his 75-catch, 997-yard, 12-touchdown regular season.
But he was a shell of himself in the NFC Championship game against the Falcons.
“You never know,” Adams said if he could have made a difference in the outcome if healthy. “It could have been different but those are the cards we were dealt.
“I liked where I was at. I did everything I could and it was a freak play that resulted in me being hurt.”
After the season he rehabbed his ankle and said he took his conditioning to another level, working on getting leaner instead of bulked up as he was at the start of last year.
Adams returns healthy and in a contract year, which means the Packers are expecting a ton out of him. He caught three passes for 47 yards in the opener against Seattle on seven targets and is ready to do better than the three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown he managed against the Falcons in January.
He said the championship game was a bump in the road and did nothing to affect the upward trend in his play.
“Absolutely,” Adams said. “I’m going to be a fully confident guy. My health is the only thing (and) it’s never been anything where it was the result of me not taking care of my body. It’s always been someone falling on me or a twisted ankle.
“Combative injuries and things like that happen. As long as I’m healthy I’m full go.”
Special lesson: It came as a pretty big surprise to rookie running back Aaron Jones that he was not active against the Seahawks.
During the exhibition season, he was the most productive of the three draft picks and it seemed a lock he would be the No. 3 back. But the coaches picked Devante Mays to serve as the next guy behind starter Ty Montgomery and backup Jamaal Williams.
“It was just special teams,” Jones said.
Mays had proved to be better on the coverage teams and was given the nod. It turned out that Mays played just one snap on special teams against the Seahawks, but Jones got the message.
“Just hit it hard and keep working at it,” Jones said. “I didn’t play much special teams in college because of all the reps I was getting on offense. I’m getting better at it every day and that’s what I have to continue to do to get on the field.”
Playing the percentages: The Packers had the 12th youngest team in the NFL on opening day, according to the league's annual survey of opening-day rosters.
It’s the lowest they’ve ranked in the Mike McCarthy era, beating the previous mark of 10th in 2013 and ’14. In most years, they ranked in or around the top five, including four No. 1 finishes.
In terms of size, the Packers are tied with Detroit for the most players 300 pounds or more with 13. The Packers briefly fell into second place when they cut defensive end Ricky Jean Francois (313 pounds), but they signed offensive lineman Adam Pankey (313) the next day.