CARSON, Calif. - Davante Adams made his return to the field for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday after missing four weeks with a turf-toe injury on his right foot, and the two-time Pro Bowler led the team with 11 targets and seven catches — though he managed only 41 yards (5.9 average).
“It felt good, it felt good to be out there with the squad, obviously,” he said. “It had been a long time. It wasn't the product that we wanted to put out there but it was good to get back out there.”
Aaron Rodgers targeted eight pass catchers but the receiving corps specifically had a slow week. After Adams, Allen Lazard, Geronimo Allison, Jake Kumerow and Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught a combined five balls on 10 targets for 65 yards.
“I’ve got to do a lot better job putting our guys in position because we really didn’t even get into the game plan,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said. “It was a spread, throw-it-all-over-the-yard kind of game. And that’s not what we want to be.”
Adams said he was on a snap count and rotated in and out of personnel packages, but the Packers ran just 49 plays and gained a season-low 184 yards of total offense.
“We did have a lot of stuff in for him, we just couldn’t get to a lot of it, unfortunately, but we also had stuff for (Aaron) Jones that we didn’t really get to,” Rodgers said. “Again, it was playing behind the sticks for most of the day and penalties and negative-yardage plays that took us out of our plan.”
Coming out of the game, however, Adams said he felt the team did a good job managing the stress on his toe and there didn’t appear to be an aggravation of the injury.
“It felt pretty good,” he said. “It doesn't feel 100 percent normal, but it's healed so I'm just fighting through some of the uncomfortable stuff.”
Za'Darius Smith offers apology
After Sunday’s loss, Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith declined comment regarding his marijuana citation issued last month but apologized for the incident.
Smith was pulled over for speeding while returning to Green Bay from Chicago on Sept. 29, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported Friday. Along with being ticketed for speeding, he also was ticketed for possessing marijuana or synthetic marijuana. Smith admitted to police that he had smoked marijuana that day, and officers found three blunts in a duffle bag Smith claimed were his, according to a report from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith was driving rookie teammates Rashan Gary and Kingsley Keke.
“To tell you the truth,” Smith said Sunday, “I cannot talk about it. It’s a legal situation now. But to everybody who’s watching, man, all my fans, that’s not me. I’m not that guy. I just want to apologize to everybody.
“I know tomorrow I’ll address it to the team and apologize to the team, also. That’s all I can say about the situation.”
Smith has an initial appearance on both citations 2 p.m. Monday in Racine. His appearance is not mandatory, according to Wisconsin online records.
Smith said the situation is not a distraction.
“I still went out here and gave it all I had, man,” Smith said. “It’s just one of those situations where we have to overcome this. Next week, we’ll know more but right now, I know nothing as far as the situation goes.”
Kevin King still battling injury
Kevin King stopped short of saying he aggravated a groin injury that has bothered him “off and on” over the past few weeks, but the Packers cornerback said he was placed on a snap count Sunday.
From the start, King split snaps with backup Tony Brown. When he wasn’t on the field, King occasionally rode a stationary bike to stay loose. He primarily played in priority situations, such as third downs and when the Chargers crossed midfield.
“That was the plan,” King said in general of reduced snaps.
King first injured his groin against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 26. He has not missed a game this season, noteworthy considering he played only 15 of 32 career games in his first two seasons, but the injury has lingered.
King was asked multiple times if he reinjured himself during the week, and he would not say. He was listed on an injury report with the groin during the week but was a full participant. King did not receive an injury designation on Friday’s report.
While King would not say whether he reinjured himself during the week, he was adamant the plan to reduce his snaps worked. King’s groin was no worse for the wear after playing Sunday.
“It’s just kind of been off and on a little bit,” King said. “I’ve gotta stay on the rehab. Gotta stay on it. It’s always going to be stuff, especially my body hasn’t played this long in a while, this consistent in the past few years. So I have to stay on it.”
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez said he reaggravated a right hand he broke one week earlier. In the second quarter, Martinez said his hand was stepped on while making a tackle. It was sore after the game.
“It’s just one of those things,” Martinez said, “hopefully it’s just a reaggravated-type thing in like the trigger spot or whatever, but hopefully it’s all good still.”
Emotions flare on sidelines
Cornerback Tramon Williams is usually a pretty mild-mannered guy, but something got him riled up in the fourth quarter enough that he was shown on the TV broadcast yelling at secondary coach Jason Simmons and needing teammates and coaches to settle him down.
It came after the defense gave up the Chargers’ final touchdown on a 1-yard run by running back Melvin Gordon with 10:32 left.
"We were losing, man,” Williams said of what sparked his outburst. “We felt that we should have been playing better and we just weren't. We didn't have that spark. Emotions just start to flare. That's what you saw."
The broadcast showed him saying something to Simmons and Simmons turning and walking away just as the offense was about to start its ensuing drive. The cameras cut away quickly and then returned after the offense had run three plays.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, cornerbacks Tony Brown and Jaire Alexander and linebacker Martinez all were around Williams, who seemed to still be upset. Eventually, he and Brown bumped chests to signify everything was OK and the cameras cut away.
“We just weren't playing as a unit,” Williams said. “They were going down the field. They weren't scoring, but at the end of the day, we have to hold our end of the bargain, regardless of what the offense is doing.
“That defense for the Chargers today was great. They were getting back there. They were getting after us. So, it's on us at that point to try to beat their defense and we couldn't do it."