Packers notes: Speed makes Trevor Davis ideal for gunner role
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers rank eighth in the NFL in opponent punt-return average despite allowing two returns of 20 or more yards.
They have held some of the NFL’s best returners in check. That includes limiting Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, New Orleans’ Ted Ginn, Detroit’s Jamal Agnew, Minnesota’s Marcus Sherels and Seattle’s Tyler Lockett to a combined seven returns for 30 yards (4.3 average).
Against the Steelers on Sunday gunner Trevor Davis (who also serves as the Packers' punt returner) nearly made the play of the game when he attempted to rip the ball out of Brown’s arm just before Pittsburgh’s game-winning drive.
“I thought I was going to get it,” Davis said. “It was real close. Watching film on it, his knee wasn’t down. I almost got it out.”
Davis didn’t start the season as a gunner, but his speed is ideal for it and through work with special teams coach Ron Zook, he has learned how to deal with all the blocking combinations teams present.
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Most opponents try to smother Jeff Janis, the other gunner, because of his outstanding ability, but Davis is trying to be a threat as well.
“What really helps is the technique they teach here,” Davis said. “It’s really gotten me out of a lot of jams. One of the punts, I basically got a triple team, so you have to know how to get past that.”
The return of cornerback Demetri Goodson gives the special teams another threat that Zook will look to employ.
Missed snaps: Cornerback Davon House missed the last four snaps against the Steelers because he started getting dehydrated and needed to get an IV in the locker room.
Hoping he could come back if the game went to overtime, House was out when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed two passes to Brown to set up the winning touchdown. Neither pass was to the side where Josh Hawkins had taken over for House.
“When I got off the fluids, they had just completed that first ball,” House said.
Injury update: Cornerback Damarious Randall was added to the injury report Thursday with a knee injury, though it did not completely keep him out of practice.
Randall was limited in the practice, as were outside linebacker Clay Matthews (groin) and defensive tackle Kenny Clark (ankle).
Rookie cornerback Kevin King (shoulder) and running back Ty Montgomery (ribs) did not practice for the second straight day.
Bennett grievance filed: The Packers officially filed the paperwork for a grievance against tight end Martellus Bennett, whom the team released last month, ESPN.com reported.
The Packers claim Bennett hid a shoulder injury that he had known about before signing a three-year, $21 million contract. The Packers are attempting to recoup two-thirds of the $6.3 million signing bonus Bennett received.
Previous reports indicated the Packers intended to go after Bennett's signing-bonus money through the grievance process. The case will go to an independent arbitrator where both sides will make arguments.
New addition: The Packers filled their practice squad to capacity, signing cornerback Raysean Pringle.
Pringle, a rookie out of Southern Utah, spent the offseason and preseason on the Packers' 90-man roster. After being released at the end of camp, he signed onto the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad. The Jaguars released Pringle in mid-October.
It was the second straight day the Packers added to their practice squad, which had only eight players at the beginning of the week. The Packers signed rookie linebacker Ahmad Thomas on Wednesday. With Pringle, their practice squad is at the maximum 10 players allowed.