Packers Camp Insider: Return man Trevor Davis on shaky ground

Pete Dougherty
Packers News
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Aug 30, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kerwynn Williams (25) returns a kick as Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis (11) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium.

Thursday’s takeaways

» Anyone looking for clarity from Trevor Davis for the Green Bay Packers’ return game and receiving corps didn’t get it Thursday night. The question is whether the Packers will keep Davis to be their primary returner and one of their six or seven receivers. Davis hadn’t played all preseason because of a hamstring injury, so Friday night was his only chance to state his case, and he didn’t distinguish himself. He had two decent kickoff returns in seven attempts, a 30-yarder in the first quarter that he almost broke for a bigger gain, and another 30-yarder in the fourth quarter. He also fumbled on his lone punt return. That was not the kind of performance to lock down a job. Working in Davis’ favor is that nobody did well in the return game while he was sidelined. He still could make the team because of his history as a returner — last year he averaged 11.8 yards on 27 punt returns and 22.7 yards on 31 kickoff returns. If he makes the roster, it will be as either the sixth or more likely seventh receiver. The final two or three receivers spots could come down to Davis, Jake Kumerow and Equanimious St. Brown. Kumerow had the best camp of the three as a receiver but has a shoulder injury that could kill his chances. St. Brown, a sixth-round draft pick, caught one pass for 10 yards and drew a 36-yard interference penalty against the Chiefs. If the Packers don’t keep Davis, their punt returner might be first-round pick Jaire Alexander, and their kickoff returner either Ty Montgomery, who has a worrisome injury history, or fifth-round pick Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Do GM Brian Gutekunst and coach Mike McCarthy trust them enough? Or will they keep Davis, the more known quantity?

BOX SCOREChiefs 33, Packers 21

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» First-year tight end Robert Tonyan made a strong final pitch for a spot on the 53-man roster. He showed good chemistry with No. 3 quarterback Tim Boyle and caught four passes for 31 yards, including one that converted a third down and another for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1. If the Packers keep only three tight ends, the third spot comes down to Tonyan and eighth-year pro Lance Kendricks. You can make a good case that Tonyan has had the better camp catching the ball, though as a converted receiver he’s not as good a blocker as Kendricks. Tonyan would be cheaper — a $480,000 base salary to Kendricks’ $1.25 million. Wouldn’t be a shock to see Tonyan make it.

QB watch

With Aaron Rodgers among the players McCarthy left home for this preseason finale, DeShone Kizer started but played only two series. He threw an interception on the first when he overshot Kendricks over the middle but then led a 65-yard touchdown drive the next time he got the ball. Boyle looked sharp early while putting up two touchdowns but as the game went on made some bad decisions throwing into traffic, threw two interceptions and had one or two others dropped by the Chiefs.

Bits and pieces

» Though McCarthy left most of his starters home, he had three of his starting offensive linemen play a couple series. Bryan Bulaga was the right tackle, Justin McCray the right guard and Lane Taylor the left guard while Kizer was in the game. McCray also took some snaps later at center, which suggests he’ll be the emergency No. 3 at that position.

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» Nick Perry and Kevin King made their first appearances of the preseason and played the opening series before getting the rest of the night off. Perry missed most of camp while still recovering from offseason ankle surgery, and King missed much of camp because of a shoulder injury (not the shoulder he had surgery on last year).

» Aaron Jones got a lot of work in the preseason finale (nine carries) because he missed a lot of camp and will be suspended the first two weeks of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. On a couple runs Jones showed the cutback skill and ability to bounce inside runs outside that made him the Packers’ best running back last year. He finished with nine carries for 34 yards.


McCarthy sat 22 players, though only three appeared to have been purely because they were injured: WR Kumerow (shoulder), T Kyle Murphy (ankle) and LB Oren Burks.

The others were Rodgers, WR Randall Cobb, TE Jimmy Graham, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Kentrell Brice, RB Jamaal Williams, RB Devante Mays, CB Tramon Williams, LB Blake Martinez, LB Clay Matthews, C Corey Linsley, DL Mike Daniels, Montgomery, TE Marcedes Lewis, LB Reggie Gilbert, DL Mohammad Wilkerson and DL Kenny Clark.

Quote of the day

“The quarterback focus was to get DeShone (Kizer) two series. Obviously, he had the high throw (for an interception) on his first series. I thought he did a very nice job, particularly on the extended play in the second series with the touchdown throw and Geronimo (Allison) did excellent in the extended play part of it, too. And really, the focus was to get Tim Boyle as much work as possible. So we definitely accomplished that. It will be good tape to evaluate and learn from.” — McCarthy, on the Packers’ quarterbacks play Thursday night.

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