Davante Adams, Packers' starting cornerbacks good to go against Colts

Jim Owczarski
Packers News
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GREEN BAY - A day after sitting out practice, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams not only participated in Friday’s session but was removed from the injury report entirely before the team heads to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.

“He’s made good progress,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Friday. “He should be good to go.”

Even though the Packers have gone 6-0 without Adams the last two seasons, the Colts have the NFL's top-ranked defense and are second against the pass. Packers wide receivers Allen Lazard (core), Darrius Shepherd (shoulder) and Equanimeous St. Brown (knee) are all listed as questionable.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) comes down with a six-yard touchdown reception while being defended by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback C.J. Henderson (23) during the fourth quarter of their game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Green Bay Packers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20.

Offensive weapon Tyler Ervin was ruled out, however, with an injury to his ribs.

“It’s part of the job,” Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said about game planning with roster uncertainty. “It’s such a long season and people are going to get injured. Now with the way the world is with the COVID, I think we’re a little more prepared now because we know at any time even more things can happen, and you just have to be able to embrace it. Change is the norm. That’s what you always have to believe in and understand, and whoever’s out there you’ve got to coach to the best of your ability and hope that they’re going to be able to execute and do the right thing and be in the right spot.”

On defense, the Packers received some good news as starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander (concussion) and Kevin King (quad) look to be on track to start together for the first time since playing against Atlanta on Oct. 5. Neither has an injury designation.

King has not played since that game and Alexander missed most of the San Francisco game and all of the win over Jacksonville.

Corner Ka’Dar Hollman (quad) is questionable while defensive tackle Montravius Adams is doubtful with a toe injury.

While 17 players were on the injury report to begin the week, the Packers seem largely healthy headed into the road trip.

“I thought the energy, guys were focused, locked in, ready to go and I thought just the level of play was really good,” LaFleur said of the practice week. “Hopefully that can transition to Sunday. Again, it’s going to come down to our ability to go out and execute against a really good football team. They're as good as anybody in this league and we know that.”

Burks adjusting to new role

The Packers moved fourth-year linebacker Oren Burks to the outside early in the season when it became apparent the team had two rookies capable of handling the inside linebacker position alongside veteran Christian Kirksey, and the 2018 third-round pick is providing some veteran depth and coverage ability behind rushers Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary.

“He's picking it up,” outside linebackers coach Mike Smith said. “It's clearly a different position from inside linebacker. There's a couple things, some drop stuff that can carry over, but I think he's slowly picking it up and getting a feel for it. He had, in college, he had some snaps on the edge, but I've been pretty surprised at how fast he is picking things up.”

After seeing only three snaps on defense the first two weeks, Burks has played 82 since (15.5% of total defensive snaps). He has made 14 tackles, including one for loss on defense. According to the analytics site Sports Info Solutions, when Burks has been on the field defensively more than 50% of the time he has played against the pass with a 27.5% rush rate.

“At the end of the day I just love playing ball,” Burks said. “Like in college I’ve had a lot of experience kind of moving around positions so wherever I can be an asset to the team and add value that’s where I want to be, and try to get as many snaps as possible and really make my presence felt. It’s been an adjustment but the guys in the room have been amazing. Coach Smith has been great, kind of getting me caught up on schemes and techniques. And at the end of the day, for me, I’m just trying to pursue as hard as I can and play as hard as I can and show up on tape when I can. Just doing the best I can.”

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