Packers RB Jamaal Williams carted off after suffering hit to head
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams left the field on a cart with support for his head and neck after a hit to the head by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Derek Barnett on the Packers’ first play from scrimmage Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
Williams was held up on the play by Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, and Barnett came in late and hit Williams on the side of the head with his helmet.
Williams gave the stadium a thumbs up as he was carted to the locker room.
ESPN reported Williams was headed to a local hospital. The Packers announced the running back was being evaluated for head and neck injuries but he did have feeling and movement in all of his extremities.
On Friday morning, Williams said he was doing OK in an Instagram post:
Barnett was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play but was not ejected.
North Dakota State, a Football Championship Subdivision program located in Fargo, had a mini-reunion of sorts Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was drafted No. 2 overall in 2016 out of North Dakota State. He played with Green Bay Packers left guard Billy Turner from 2012-13 and Packers rookie wide receiver Darrius Shepherd in 2015.
Shepherd was a true freshman in Wentz’s senior season 2015 when the Bison won the FCS national championship.
“We had a good relationship at NDSU and when I made the team he did reach out and congratulate me and said he was looking forward to this matchup (Thursday),” Shepherd said of his old quarterback. “I’m excited to go out there and hopefully see him after the game and talk a little bit.”
That year Shepherd caught 40 balls for 575 yards and five touchdowns from Wentz.
“He’s super competitive and has a really good football IQ and understanding of the game,” Shepherd said. “No matter what, he’s going to try to find a way to win and he cares about his teammates. That’s what makes him stand out as a quarterback.”
Scott, Brown have punting chemistry
Former college teammates at Alabama, JK Scott and Tony Brown have found a chemistry in the unlikeliest of places in Green Bay — the punt team. But it’s something that began when the two were together at Alabama.
“Me and him have a great relationship where I kind of know how far he is and where he’s punting to,” Brown said. “We have a great relationship with that. I’ve seen him make things hit the ceiling indoor at AT&T Stadium (in Dallas). I’ve been seeing him do that for dang near six years. I’m used to it. I’m sure glad he’s here helping us move the field and change the field every punt we have.”
They both played for the Crimson Tide from 2014-17. Brown has solidified his role as a backup cornerback but is also emerging as a key gunner on punts. He was down the field on Scott’s 66-yard punt last Sunday against Denver and helped draw a block-in-the-back penalty.
“It’s definitely like a good confidence thing for me knowing that I have him to go and force the fair catch,” Scott said. “You can kind of just be comfortable and go do your thing. It’s good.”
Big swing in Adams’ targets
Early in 2018 as the Packers got off to a 1-1-1 start averaging 23.3 points and 353.6 yards per game, there was a feeling that the passing offense was too heavily reliant on getting the ball to Davante Adams. Through those first three games Adams averaged 9.7 targets, 6.7 catches, 68 yards and one touchdown per game. The numbers would rise to 11.8 targets, 7.8 catches and 92.8 yards with one touchdown per game over the first six games.
Heading into Thursday night’s game, with the Packers at 3-0 and averaging 19.3 points and 286.7 yards per game, there was a feeling the passing offense hasn’t gone through Adams enough. Adams came into the game against the Eagles averaging 7 targets, 5 catches and 66 yards per game and had yet to catch a touchdown pass.
Adams had not gone more than two consecutive games without a touchdown since 2015.
“Davante’s a great team player,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said earlier in the week. “He’s not going to complain. He was happy that we won the game, but we know. Like I said yesterday, we want to get our playmakers the ball. He’s one of the premier playmakers in this league, so he knows that we know that we need to try to get him the ball more.”