Packers' Davante Adams out, Darnell Savage returns to lineup against Chiefs

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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) makes a catch between Green Bay Packers cornerback Chandon Sullivan (39) and safety Darnell Savage (26) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams was inactive Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs for the fourth straight week as he continues to work his way back from a right turf toe injury suffered against Philadelphia on Sept. 26.

In the past week the Pro Bowl receiver had found a pair of cleats that were comfortable and he had begun some light work, but he never officially practiced.

The Packers did get a starter back on the field in safety Darnell Savage. The rookie safety had missed the last two games after suffering a high ankle sprain against Dallas on Oct. 6.

Joining Adams on the inactive list for the Packers were: 

  • Adam Pankey, OL
  • Cole Madison, OL
  • Robert Tonyan, TE
  • Ryan Grant, WR
  • Tim Williams, LB
  • Ka'dar Hollman, CB

The Chiefs, however, were in far worse shape heading into the game. On Friday the club ruled out starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee), starting left tackle Eric Fisher (groin), starting left guard Andrew Wylie (ankle) starting defensive linemen Frank Clark (neck) and Chris Jones (groin) along with starting corner Kendall Fuller (thumb).

The only Chiefs inactive decision made Sunday night was also on offense with backup offensive tackle Greg Senat.

A ‘dynamic’ environment

It has been common to hear music blaring during Packers practice this season. As they prepared for their trip to Kansas City, coach Matt LaFleur might’ve turned up the volume a few notches.

LaFleur made only his second trip to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night, and his first since he was an offensive quality control coach with the Houston Texans in 2009. Even then, it was a preseason trip to Kansas City. So the full force of the NFL’s loudest stadium was not heard.

No matter, LaFleur didn’t have to go far to find someone who could fill him in on the Kansas City mystique. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is the son of longtime coach Paul Hackett, who, among the many stops in his career, was a Chiefs offensive coordinator for five seasons in the 1990s.

Hackett was in high school then.

“I still remember the first game being there,” Hackett said Thursday, “that environment. It was all the way back when Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith. I was just talking to the guys about it. it’s an amazing place. I’ve gone back there to play a couple games to this point in my career, and it’s awesome. it’s an amazing environment – just the tailgating, how that whole city rolls with that place. It’s a great place to play a game.”

LaFleur said he showed video to his players during the week to help illustrate what kind of environment the Packers were entering, including the tomahawk chop and former Pro Bowl fullback Christian Okoye beating on a drum. “The place,” LaFleur said, “was pretty rowdy.” Still, Hackett’s insight certainly helped prepare the offense as well.

“Growing up there as a kid,” Hackett said, “knowing it very well, it is a dynamic environment. Especially a Sunday night game. So the noise is obviously always going to be a factor.

Self-inflicted fine

One of the heftiest fines for any Packers player was levied on tight end Jimmy Graham last week, and the reason had nothing to do with a play on the field.

Graham was fined $25,000 for violating the NFL’s media access policy. To ensure transparency with fans, the league requires teams to open their locker rooms to media for 45 minutes four days during a game week, and all players are to be available for interviews during that time. While teams don’t always abide by the letter of the law, each player is generally expected to conduct an interview at least once per week at minimum.

Graham, whose numbers have sharply declined this season, conducted an interview at his locker Wednesday, presumably after learning of his fine. Before that, he had not availed himself to the media since Aug. 5, when the start of training camp was still fresh.

Graham will have the opportunity to appeal his fine, but he also risks being fined more frequently — and more amounts — if he does not fall in line with the league’s policy.

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