Packers shake up return game by trading Trevor Davis to Raiders

Jim Owczarski
Packers News
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GREEN BAY – Trevor Davis felt he was on the verge of a breakout on special teams, believing that the familiarity the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings had with him helped them limit his opportunities to make explosive kick returns.

Now, Davis will seek to have that breakout elsewhere. A source confirmed Wednesday that the Packers traded the 26-year-old wide receiver to Oakland, reportedly for a sixth-round draft pick, according to the Oakland Tribune.

Davis was in the locker room during media availability earlier in the afternoon.

On Monday, the Packers claimed kick return specialist Tremon Smith off waivers from Kansas City. Smith, a sixth-round pick of the Chiefs last year, finished fourth in the NFL in kick returns with a 26.9 yards per kick average.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis (11) and wide receiver Darrius Shepherd (10) run a drill before their preseason football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, August 29, 2019, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
Joshua Clark/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The Chiefs experimented with Smith at running back during training camp but he said he has been told by the Packers he will play defense and special teams.

“That’s what I did when I got to the Chiefs,” Smith said. “I really didn’t do it much in college or anything. I didn’t play much on special teams, but I’m open to do anything.”

He admitted moving to kick returner was a bit of an adjustment, as he specialized at cornerback at Central Arkansas.

“Trusting your teammates and just running full speed,” Smith said of what makes a good kick returner. “Trusting they’re going to have their blocks and hitting it full speed and running as fast as possible. You can’t be scared, either. Can’t run scared, either. That’s when you get hit. It’s scary but you can’t be scared.”

Along with his duties as a kick returner, Smith has played gunner on coverage. He has not returned punts in the NFL, however.

Undrafted rookie Darrius Shepherd returned punts for the Packers during training camp when Davis was out with an injury. In the preseason he returned five punts for 46 yards. Cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Jaire Alexander also have experience returning punts.

As a receiver, Davis never quite found a role in the Packers' offense. In three-plus seasons, he played 216 snaps from scrimmage and caught nine passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

He was a threat on special teams, averaging 22.6 yards per kickoff return and 11.2 per punt return in his career for the Packers. This season he had one catch for 28 yards against Chicago and three punt returns for one yard with seven fair catches. He did not have a chance to return a kickoff through two weeks.

The Raiders will pay the Packers at Lambeau Field on Oct. 20.

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