Packers taking it 'day by day' as Davante Adams returns to practice
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers welcomed Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams back to practice Wednesday, as Adams participated for the first time since suffering a turf-toe injury on his right foot against Philadelphia on Sept. 26.
Head coach Matt LaFleur said the session was a walk-through — the players did not wear helmets — but he was keeping an eye on his star wideout.
“We were out there for a walk-through but the individual portion I thought he did a nice job,” LaFleur said. “We’ll just see how he progresses throughout the week.”
Later, Adams – who was listed as a limited participant on the injury report – reiterated that he will not play until he feels totally like himself and is cleared medically to do so.
"Really, just the feedback I get from the docs," Adams said of the decision on his return. "I feel good. I know you guys got a chance to see a little bit today. I feel like I’m in a spot where I can make that call for myself. But I’ve got to (collaborate) with them and see how they’re feeling and look at it one more time and then we’ll make that call."
LaFleur made it clear the Packers are eager to get Adams back in the lineup.
“We’ll take it day by day and see how he does,” LaFleur said. “When he’s ready to go, we’ll be ecstatic.”
Asked his thoughts about Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' performance during his absence, Adams said, "All he’s doing is exactly what I knew he’d do. ... He takes over. You can see that look in his eyes and it’s almost like a playoff stare already. When you have that from A-Rod early, it’s going to be tough for other teams."
Tight end Robert Tonyan (hip) also participated in the walk-through.
In the portion of practice open to the media, Rodgers, running back Aaron Jones, fullback Danny Vitale, tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis and cornerback Tramon Williams rode bicycles and stretched off to the side as positional and team drills began.
“Not all of those guys would be out there anyway (in a traditional practice),” LaFleur said. “Some of the rhythm and timing and just communication, just going out there and doing reps — especially for young players — it can be a little, I don’t want to say detrimental, but they could use those reps certainly. But again, I think it’s more about what’s best for our football team as a whole.”
Also Wednesday, the Packers re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Darrius Shepherd and tight end Evan Baylis to the practice squad, a source said.
Chargers look to ramp up offense
Two days after firing his offensive coordinator, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said Wednesday he hopes the decision brings more life to his offense.
Specifically, Lynn said, he’s looking for “more energy” and “more juice” after firing Ken Whisenhunt on Monday. Lynn said Whisenhunt is “an excellent football coach,” but the Chargers rank 17th in yards and 23rd in points.
“I’d like to see a little more energy, a little more juice,” Lynn said. “I’d like our offense to flow and just get into a rhythm. I just feel like we needed to make a change to make that happen right now, and we’ll see.”
Whisenhunt, the Chargers’ offensive coordinator since 2016, leaves a vacancy as the team’s offensive play caller. Lynn was vague when asked whether he or interim offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who doubles as the Chargers' quarterbacks coach, will now call plays.
“I will assist Shane in calling plays,” Lynn said, “but let me just say this, I have a lot of confidence in Shane. I don’t want him looking over his shoulder. I want him to get into a rhythm and call plays. I think he’s going to be very good at it. So my role won’t change. I’ve always jumped in when I felt like I needed to, but we’ll see.”
One thing that would boost the Chargers' offense is running back Melvin Gordon returning to his past level as a dynamic playmaker. The former Badgers star missed all of September as he held out for a new contract, returning when the Chargers hosted the Denver Broncos on Oct. 6. In his four games back, Gordon has rushed for 31, 18, 32 and 31 yards, respectively.
Gordon had his first touchdown of the season in the Chargers’ road win last week at Chicago. Lynn hopes his two-time Pro Bowler is rounding into shape.
“I’ve seen him get better every week,” Lynn said. “I thought last week you definitely saw some flashes of old Melvin. He didn’t get many opportunities, but you could just tell he was a little different last week, and that’s what I was expecting to see, but I need to see more of it.”
Lynn expects 'energy' from crowd
Other than the plane ride, the Packers' trip to play the Chargers in Los Angeles on Sunday is a road game in name only.
The Packers are likely to fill Dignity Health Sports Park with cheeseheads, overwhelming the number of Chargers fans in the stands. It would be a surprise to nobody, including Lynn.
Lynn said it will be exciting to have “a lot of energy in the stadium,” even if that energy doesn’t necessarily pull for his team. He doesn’t worry about being at a disadvantage at home.
“We don’t play the fans,” the Chargers coach said. “We play the Packers.”