Davante Adams’ fourth-quarter injury sent a chill through Green Bay Packers fans wondering what impact his potential long-term absence would have on the rest of the season.
It turns out they had no reason to worry.
Adams lay on the field for a couple of minutes and went into the medical tent after a big hit from San Francisco’s Johnnie Ward landed in the receiver’s upper-body area. But he missed only one play and then caught a 25-yard pass and a 17-yard toss from Aaron Rodgers in the final minute to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired.
How did he make such a quick return?
“How I’m able to get through it is I’m different,” Adams said after the Packers' 30-28 victory. “That’s probably the main thing.”
Adams then explained that an evaluation showed he didn’t have a concussion and his main issue was a chest problem that made it tough for him to breathe.
His contributions after his quick return showed just how much the Packers rely on Adams, who had 12 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown Sunday. If Adams ever has to miss extended time because of an injury, the Packers have plenty of cause for concern.
The Packers (2-1) trailed 28-27 and had no timeouts left when they got the ball at their own 25-yard line. A hamstring injury to Marquez Valdes-Scantling left the Packers short of complementary receivers. There was little doubt Rodgers would look Adams’ way.
But the 49ers still couldn’t contain him.
“He is the ultimate competitor,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “I think he’s the best receiver in the National Football League and I think he shows it on a weekly basis. Not only on a weekly basis, it’s special, we get to see it on a daily basis — just how he prepares, how he leads.”
The Packers have depended on Adams about as much as any team relies on any single receiver. Adams has more than four times as many yards receiving and 2 1/2 times as many catches as any other Packer. He was targeted on 18 of Rodgers’ 33 pass attempts Sunday.
Adams has 25 catches for 309 yards. Running back Aaron Jones ranks second on the team in catches (10) and Valdes-Scantling is second in yards receiving (76). Adams is the only Packers wideout with more than six receptions.
The touchdown catches are much more evenly divided. Jones has a team-high three. Adams, Valdes-Scantling and tight end Robert Tonyan have one each.
Last season, Adams became the first player in NFL history to have at least 100 catches and 18 touchdown receptions in the same season. As he follows that up this year, the Packers are counting on him as much as ever.
After throwing for just 133 yards and getting picked off twice in a season-opening loss to New Orleans, reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has completed 75% of his passes for six touchdowns with no interceptions in his last two games. His ability to drive the Packers for the winning field goal in the closing seconds shows how good he is in those tight situations.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
Green Bay had a special-teams breakdown that allowed the 49ers to get back in the game. The Packers led 17-0 late in the second quarter before allowing a Trenton Cannon 68-yard punt return that set up Trey Lance’s 1-yard touchdown run on the final play of the half. ... The defense gave up touchdowns on four of the 49ers’ last six possessions after playing great for most of the first half.
Even before making his game-winning 51-yard field goal, Crosby made a 54-yarder and a 38-yarder. … OT Yosh Nijman fared well enough in his first career start to show the Packers could rely on him in a pinch. Nijman started at left tackle because All-Pro David Bakhtiari (ACL) and Elgton Jenkins (ankle) were out with injuries.
WR Randall Cobb had no catches and was targeted just once. ... WR Amari Rodgers, a rookie third-round pick, doesn’t have any catches in his last two games.
LB Krys Barnes left with a concussion and Valdes-Scantling had his hamstring injury.
22 — Number of consecutive successful field-goal attempts by Crosby. That’s one off his own team record. Crosby made 23 straight from 2010-11.
The Packers hope their offensive line gets healthier as they prepare to host the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2).
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Steve Megargee, The Associated Press