The Green Bay Packers have stuck with Davante Adams throughout a turbulent sophomore season for the former second-round pick.
A lot of weight was loaded onto Adams’ shoulders when Jordy Nelson tore his anterior cruciate ligament in August. After being dubbed the Packers’ offseason MVP, it was expected Adams would be the primary candidate to fill void of Nelson, who was coming off his first Pro Bowl season and a 1,500-yard campaign.
Instead, a nightmarish season has followed. Adams turned his ankle in Week 2 against Seattle, aggravated it the following week against Kansas City and then missed the next three games. Adams was expected to lift the offense upon his midseason return, but only twice has he had more than 50 receiving yards in 12 games.
Those performances came against Carolina on Nov. 8 when he had a season-high 93 yards thanks largely to a 40-yard Hail Mary before halftime. He caught 10 passes for 79 yards the following week against Detroit when he was targeted 21 times. Adams has 46 catches for 429 yards and a touchdown for the season.
“It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to fight through it,” Adams said Wednesday.
Drops have been an issue lately. He’s dropped the fourth-most passes (10) in the league this season, according to Pro Football Focus, with six of those coming in his last five games. In each of the past two weeks, Adams has failed to bring in would-be touchdowns.
Both Adams and coach Mike McCarthy maintain that confidence isn’t an issue.
“Really, I’m tired of talking about that because I don’t even understand what that has to do with anything right now,” said Adams when asked how drops affect a receiver’s psyche. “But it plays a part in it and you obviously think about it a little bit, but then you let it go and then it’s done.”
Adams showed a lot of promise as a rookie. He had a breakout game against New England last November when he caught six passes for 121 yards and came up big in the Packers’ 26-21 win over Dallas in the divisional playoffs with seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.
The Packers are hoping Adams can again turn it on down the stretch and haven’t abandoned him during his struggles. Adams has played nearly 90 percent of the snaps in the 11 games he's finished this season.
Adams admits the drops are frustrating, but he doesn’t want them to define him. The numbers are what they are. All Adams can do at this point is try to learn from what’s been a challenging second season.
“When you’re a guy who it means a lot to you and you want to do well, it’s going to bother you a little bit,” Adams said. “I’ll do my best to look past it and really just focus on what can I do this week rather than sitting there drowning in my tears about the previous week if I didn’t do what I wanted to out there on the field. So, just moving forward and fixing what I can fix.”
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