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Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams said everything is fine between him and Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis after the two spoke face-to-face this week for the first time since Adams accused Davis of “head hunting” for a blindside hit that gave him a concussion.Adams said Thursday that Davis sought him out on Monday, when the NFC players arrived in Orlando for the Pro Bowl, and apologized for the hit, which occurred late in the Panthers’ 31-24 victory at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 17.

“He came and hollered at me the first day,” Adams told ESPN. “It happened about a little over a month ago now so we kind of settled it. I’m trying to let bygones be bygones.

“Obviously you don’t forget things like that, but at the same time we’re teammates out here and you want to be civil and still have a good time so that’s what it’s about.”

The day after the play happened, Adams, via Twitter, accused Davis of “head hunting” because he led with his helmet. Adams posted a series of tweets critical of the hit and Davis, who responded to one of the tweets and apologized.

“In no way was I trying to hurt you,” Davis tweeted. “My first instinct was turn and make a block. In all sincerity I do apologize. I truly respect you as a player and I made a mistake!”

That was the second concussion that Adams had suffered in 2017.

Davis was suspended two games by the NFL for the hit. He told ESPN on Thursday that he wanted to apologize to Adams in person. “That was one of the things that I was most looking forward to, having that opportunity to sit down face-to-face with him and kind of explain my side of that situation, officially apologize to him face-to-face,” Davis said. “It wasn’t anything malicious and I said that to him in the message, but just I just really wanted to reiterate what I said to him in that message on social media.”

Davis said it was received well and that Adams accepted his apology.

“He said he understood,” Davis said. “He said that he was emotional when it happened. He was mad. But we’ve talked it out. We’re in a good place right now.”

Having won the Walter Payton Man of the Year, Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year and Bart Starr Award in his past, Davis has enjoyed a sterling reputation across the league when it comes to character.

He acknowledged that it’s been a challenge, however, conforming to new league rules as they pertain to hard hitting and avoiding the head and neck area. It was a much different league when he entered it in 2004 and he admitted that he is still figuring out how to adjust.

“The guys I looked up to when I started — Derrick Brooks, Ray Lewis — the way that those guys played the game. I just try to mirror my game after that,” Davis said. “But at the same time, we’re moving to a different place in the NFL and guys like myself just have to understand that we have to comply with the rules.”

Davis added, “It’s definitely a lot harder to conform. It takes some time, just changing up the style of play.”

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Ted Thompson’s last acts as Green Bay Packers general manager — if he was actually still acting as GM and not just as a figure head — were to sign Davante Adams and Corey Linsley to contract extensions on the final weekend of the 2017 regular season.

It leaves new GM Brian Gutekunst without a must-sign player on his list of upcoming free agents.

Adams would have been one of the top receivers had he hit the open market. Instead, the Packers were able to retain him on a five-year, $58.9 million contract that made him the fourth-highest-paid receiver in the league.

In Linsley, the Packers made sure they retained their starting center — and the only player on the team who played in every snap on his side of the ball last season. He signed a three-year, $25.5 million extension.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Packers’ players who are headed for free agency when the new league year opens on March 14:

Offense

Unrestricted (Players with four or more accrued seasons)

  • Richard Rodgers: Tight end is a major need with or without Rodgers, who never quite took off after his Hail Mary catch against the Lions in 2015. That remains the only 100-yard receiving game of his career. He slipped behind Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks to start the season and even when Bennett was released, Rodgers’ productivity barely spiked. He had only two games this past season with more than one catch and missed the finale with a shoulder injury. The market could be light for the former third-round pick, so perhaps the Packers could get him back cheap for some depth. His salary last season was $1,797,000.
  • Jahri Evans: The 12th-year veteran was perhaps the surprise of last year’s free-agent class for the Packers. He played the first 912 snaps of the season before a knee injury kept him out of the final two games. Evans said late in the season that he wasn’t sure if he would play a 13th season. He will turn 35 in August. The Packers could slide Justin McCray or Lucas Patrick into the right guard spot if Evans isn’t back. He signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Packers last offseason.
  • Jeff Janis: His chance to contribute as a receiver is probably gone; he played just 50 snaps on offense last season and didn’t catch a pass until the second-to-last game of the year. But he’s become a valuable special-teams player.

Restricted (Players with three accrued seasons but not four; can be tendered by March 14 for the Packers to retain the right to match any offer from another team):

  • Ulrick John: The tackle was signed off Arizona’s practice squad on Sept. 26 after injuries to backups Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy and played just 40 snaps.

Exclusive rights (Players with fewer than three accrued seasons; must be offered minimum salary tenders by March 14 or they become street free agents): WR Geronimo Allison, QB Joe Callahan, WR Michael Clark, OL Adam Pankey

Defense

Unrestricted

  • Morgan Burnett: The veteran safety was No. 3 on the priority list behind Adams and Linsley, but he was a distant third. Yes, he’s versatile — having played everywhere from safety to slot cornerback to inside linebacker. But he’s also never been one to make a ton of splash plays. He has nine career interceptions in eight NFL seasons. He just turned 29 and hasn’t played a full season since 2012. He missed four games this past season because of two separate injuries (hamstring and groin). The Packers also have potential replacements in Josh Jones and Kentrell Brice. Burnett is at the end of a four-year, $24.75 million deal. There will be a market for Burnett, but it may not be at that same price. Given that new coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense can be complicated, Burnett might have more value to the Packers than to another team.
  • Ahmad Brooks: Essentially signed as a replacement for Julius Peppers, who left months earlier in free agency, but the former 49ers linebacker didn’t come close to replicating what Peppers did during his three years with the Packers and certainly couldn’t match the production Peppers had back in Carolina. For the same money — $3.5 million — the Packers got 1.5 sacks from Brooks and the Panthers got 11.0 from Peppers.
  • Quinton Dial: Like Brooks, Dial was a last-minute pickup right before the regular season started. He gave the Packers quality snaps along the defensive line to complement Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Dean Lowry. At just $775,001, he was a value signing who probably earned a little bit more in his next contract.
  • Davon House: After two seasons with the Jaguars, House returned to the Packers on a one-year, $2.8 million deal and played with the kind of toughness the Packers expected. He also served as a mentor to top draft pick Kevin King. A similar type of deal would make it worthwhile to bring him back. Like Burnett, House could be valuable in a scheme that favors veterans because of its complexity.
  • Demetri Goodson: Although he made it back to the active roster more than a year after a serious knee injury, he did not play a single snap in 2017, so it’s unknown what the fourth-year cornerback can do. He would be a minimum-salary-type signing.

Restricted

  • Joe Thomas: A year after he led the inside linebackers in snaps, he fell behind Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan on the depth chart. Injuries and the increased use of the “nitro” defensive package with a safety at inside linebacker also played a role.

Exclusive rights: CB Herb Waters, S Jermaine Whitehead

Specialists

Unrestricted

  • Brett Goode: The veteran long-snapper played in 10 games during two separate stints on the roster last season. His snaps have been on point for 10 seasons, but the Packers have seemed intent on trying to replace him in recent years, even though he’s on a minimum salary. The Packers signed another snapper, Zach Triner, to a futures deal and also could bring back Taybor Pepper, who finished the season on IR.

Restricted

  • Jake Schum: The punter in 2016 spent all of 2017 on injured reserve because of a back injury and probably won’t get a shot at the job after the solid year rookie Justin Vogel had.

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By signing Davante Adams and Corey Linsley to contract extensions before the regular-season ended, the Green Bay Packers were able to use $5.6 million in 2017 salary-cap space, therefore lessening the burden on future caps over the life of those contracts.

Davante Adams four-year, $58.9 million extension contained an $18 million signing bonus which will be prorated over five years, meaning $3.6 million was charged to this past season’s cap. In all, over the five years it’s worth $58,961,963.

Based on average per year, Adams ($14.5 million) is the fourth-highest paid receiver in the NFL behind Antonio Brown ($17 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2 million) and A.J. Green ($15 million), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Linsley’s three-year, $25.5 million extension contained an $8 million signing bonus which will be prorated over four years, meaning $2 million was charged to this past season’s cap. In all, over the four years, it’s worth $27,303,450

Before the two deals were completed last week, the Packers still had nearly $10 million in available 2017 cap space. They will be able to carry over a little more than $4 million unused cap space to next season.

Here’s a breakdown of the contracts:

Davante Adams

2017

  • Cash value: $18,961,963
  • Salary-cap charge: $4,857,127
  • Signing bonus: $18 million
  • Existing base salary: $956,373
  • Workout bonus: $5,590

2018

  • Cash value: $7 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $10.6 million
  • Roster bonus: $5 million (due the third day of the league year)
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $1 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000

2019

  • Cash value: $7 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $10.6 million
  • Roster bonus: $3.5 million (due the third day of the league year)
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $2.5 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000
  • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

2020

  • Cash value: $13 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $16.6 million
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $12 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000
  • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

2021

  • Cash value: $13 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $16.6 million
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $12 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000
  • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

Corey Linsley

2017

  • Cash value: $9,803,450
  • Salary-cap charge: $3,849,700
  • Signing bonus: $8 million
  • Existing base salary: $1.797 million
  • Workout bonus: $6,450

2018

  • Cash value: $2.85 million
      • Salary-cap charge: $4.85 million
    • Roster bonus: $1 million (due the third day of the league year)
    • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
    • Base salary: $1 million
    • Workout bonuses: $350,000

    2019

    • Cash value: $6.185 million
    • Salary-cap charge: $8.185 million
    • Roster bonus: $1 million (due the third day of the league year)
    • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
    • Base salary: $4.3 million
    • Workout bonuses: $350,000
    • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

    2020

    • Cash value: $8.5 million
    • Salary-cap charge: $10.5 million
    • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
    • Base salary: $7.65 million
    • Workout bonuses: $350,000
    • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

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If Davante Adams had not already proved his worth to the Green Bay Packers, what he did without Aaron Rodgers solidified it.

In parts of seven games with Brett Hundley as his quarterback, Adams caught 46 passes for 543 yards and five touchdowns. In parts of seven games with Rodgers as his quarterback, he caught 28 passes for 342 yards and five touchdowns.

He was the Packers’ only receiver who managed consistent production after Rodgers broke his collarbone on Oct. 15.

It’s why last week coach Mike McCarthy, for the first time ever, proclaimed that Adams was the Packers’ “best perimeter player.” It was an unofficial moniker that previously belonged to Jordy Nelson.

The only issue with signing Adams to a four-year, $58.75 million contract on Friday was his concussion history. The 25-year-old suffered his third concussion in 14 months when Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis hit him with a blindside block on Dec. 17 at Carolina. Adams hasn’t played since, although it’s unclear if he could have played this week had the Packers not been eliminated from playoff consideration.

Adams returned without missing a game following his first two concussions, including the vicious hit he took earlier this year from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan.

Last week, it was suggested to Adams’ teammate, Randall Cobb, that Adams shouldn’t play another game until he got a new contract.

“OK, well you tell him that,” Cobb said. “I’ll let you tell him that.”

Either way, the Packers did right by Adams with this deal.

They could have had him for somewhere in the $9 million to $10 million per year neighborhood had they done a deal in August or September, but Adams’ price just kept going up during the season.

Who knows what Adams would have drawn had the Packers let him get to free agency in March, especially if teams felt comfortable with his concussion history.

The Packers clearly did, even though they need to look back only one year at the case of cornerback Sam Shields, whose career ended last season because of multiple concussions. Shields was older (age 29) when the Packers released him with one year left on a four-year, $39 million contract in February. Shields suffered a concussion in the 2016 season opener and never played again. It was the fourth known concussion of his NFL career.

Adams’ known concussion count is at three in his four NFL seasons. As long as it stays that way, the Packers should be glad they kept their best perimeter player.

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Luke Getsy praised his blocking earlier this year. Mike McCarthy called him “the ultimate pro” this week.

Those are the kinds of things coaches say about a receiver when his best days are behind him.

So if the best thing Jordy Nelson’s receivers coach could come up with was his ability to block, and his head coach chose to praise his work ethic, what does that say about Nelson’s future with the Green Bay Packers — or at least his future as one of their $10-million-a-year receivers?

For years, Nelson was viewed as a bargain — both after he signed a three-year, $12.6 million contract extension in 2011 and then again after a four-year, $39 million deal in 2014. He’s had four 1,000-yard seasons and three with 85 or more catches, including two years with at least 97 catches.

That no longer looks like the case.

He’s due to make $10.25 million in salary and bonuses next season in the final year of the deal that still has him ranked as the 15th-highest paid receiver in the league based on average per year.

With fellow Packers receiver Randall Cobb also in the $10 million range (at $9.5 million next season) and Davante Adams expected to command even more than that as a pending free agent, it’s difficult to see how the Packers can keep all three around at those prices.

Perhaps it’s Cobb who would have to restructure his deal or be released, but he’s more than five years younger than Nelson, who will turn 33 in May.

So at this point, all eyes are on Nelson, who might not even play Sunday in the season finale at Detroit because of the shoulder injury he sustained last week against the Vikings.

Even Nelson admitted this week that he’s not sure what his future holds with the only NFL team he’s ever played for, the one that picked him in the second round of the 2008 draft and the one for which he and Aaron Rodgers have the franchise record for most touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver combination — a total that reached 65 with Nelson’s six touchdowns this season before Rodgers broke his collarbone on Oct. 15.

“That’s not [a question] for me,” Nelson said. “I’m not worried about that right now.”

After the fast start this season, Nelson’s production plummeted. He didn’t catch a single touchdown pass in the eight games that Brett Hundley started. Anyone who thought it would automatically return when Rodgers came back in Week 15 at Carolina need only look at Nelson’s numbers from that game, too: three catches for 28 yards. That’s on par with Nelson’s season averages of 3.5 catches per game for 32.1 yards.

Nelson looks like he’ll finish with his fewest catches (53) since 2012, when he missed four games, with the fewest yards (482) and fewest touchdowns (six) since 2010.

“I’ve never put anything in my career on numbers,” Nelson said. “That doesn’t change if it’s a bad season or a good season.”

When asked if he’d call this a good season or a bad season, Nelson said: “I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it too much. Obviously we’ve been in it week in and week out, so that’s something that you’ll think about after the season’s over.”

Nelson also said he hasn’t thought about what might happen if the Packers ask him to take a pay cut or restructure his deal.

“That would be a discussion we’d have if it happens,” Nelson said.

Hundley said he “couldn’t put a finger on it,” when asked this week why he hasn’t been able to get the ball to Nelson as much and in as many playmaking positions as he has with, say, Adams, who has flourished despite the change in quarterbacks. Nelson has averaged just 7.1 yards per catch from Hundley but 11.7 with Rodgers this season.

It was during Hundley’s long stretch as a starter that Getsy took to praising Nelson for his blocking.

“He’s been outstanding,” Getsy said. “He really is. There’s never been a blink of an eye. It really hasn’t. We’ve got to find a way to win games, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to do that.”

But it doesn’t change the fact that Nelson is having one of his least productive seasons or the fact that Packers coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged for the first time last week that Adams — not Nelson — is the Packers’ “best perimeter player.”

“Jordy’s the ultimate pro, he’s the ultimate teammate,” McCarthy said. “So he hasn’t [changed] at all, from my perspective. He’s the same guy every day. I understand what numbers say, but it’s about opportunities and being in rhythm. So I mean, if you look at some of the production even with the younger players in the Minnesota game, I don’t think it’s a surprise you see Brett, he throws to Trevor [Davis] more, he throws to Michael Clark more, just because that’s who he’s been practicing with.

“But Jordy, he’s going through a tough week with the shoulder, but like he always does, he shows up every day and he’ll do everything he can to get out there Sunday.”

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Jordy Nelson’s season is likely over, and the same looks to be true for Davante Adams.

The Green Bay Packers’ starting receivers are unlikely to play in Sunday’s regular-season finale at Detroit, leaving both of their futures in doubt.

Nelson suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s shutout loss to Minnesota, and coach Mike McCarthy said the 32-year-old is a long shot to play against the Lions. Adams remained in the concussion protocol on Wednesday and hasn’t played since he suffered his second head injury of the season on Dec. 17 at Carolina.

“It’ll be tough for him to make this week,” McCarthy said Wednesday.

Nelson’s production has slipped this season, and even the return of quarterback Aaron Rodgers from his broken collarbone for the Panthers game didn’t jump-start the receiver. Nelson was leading the league with six touchdown receptions when Rodgers got hurt in Week 6 but hasn’t caught one since. He has 53 catches (his fewest since 2010) for 482 yards (his fewest since 2009). Nelson has one year left on his contract and is scheduled to make $10.25 million in salary and bonuses next season.

The Packers might have to consider cutting Nelson or asking him to take a pay cut if they re-sign Adams, who would be a free agent in March if a new deal isn’t worked out by then. Adams has a team-high 74 catches for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 25-year-old’s production didn’t change much with Brett Hundley at quarterback. Of Adams’ 10 touchdowns, five came from Rodgers and five from Hundley.

McCarthy wouldn’t say whether the Packers have intentionally shut down Adams for the season because they’re out of the playoffs. “He hasn’t been cleared; that’s Davante’s status,” McCarthy said.

Without Adams or Nelson, expect rookie Michael Clark to see more action. The 6-foot-6 former college basketball player caught three passes for 36 yards on Saturday against the Vikings in his first career snaps in a regular-season game.

The Packers also are expected to be without running back Aaron Jones, who suffered a knee injury against the Vikings.

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It’s a good thing this was a meaningless game for the Green Bay Packers, given their inactive and injury lists.

Or maybe the Packers shut down so many key players before things started Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings because it was meaningless.

Either way, what looked like a marquee Week 16 game in prime time when the NFL released its 2017 schedule in April turned into a glorified exhibition game, with players looking to make an impression for next season and coaches perhaps trying to justify their employment.

Yet very few did.

Other than Kenny Clark, the second-year defensive tackle who had a couple of sacks — giving him 4.5 for the season, all of which have come in the month of December — and first-year outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert, who was promoted this week from the practice squad and hit Vikings quarterback Case Keenum more than once, there wasn’t much anyone could claim as progress in the Packers’ 16-0 loss at Lambeau Field.

The Packers were shut out at home for a second time this season. Before this year, no team had been shut out at home twice in a season since 2006, when both the Packers and Raiders were.

“I never felt more defeated, more embarrassed by a performance,” said Packers receiver Randall Cobb, who had four catches for 22 yards. “Yeah, we had opportunities, and we didn’t connect when we did.”

Quarterback Brett Hundley, making his eighth start of the season, did nothing to change the narrative that he isn’t capable of taking over a game. He threw two interceptions, which means his home season ended with zero touchdowns and seven interceptions at Lambeau.

Dropping to 3-5 as a starter, Hundley failed to throw a touchdown pass at Lambeau Field once again. He set the record for pass attempts at home without a touchdown (162) in a single season, according to Elias. Along the way, he threw his third red zone interception this season, tied with Dak Prescott for the second-most in the NFL. Only (six) has thrown more red zone picks, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In Hundley’s defense, the Packers dropped six of his passes, their most since Week 15 of 2014 at Buffalo, another game in which they dropped six, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

When it comes to the roster, general manager Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy likely wanted to use this game — and the regular-season finale next Sunday at Detroit — to evaluate who stays and who goes in the offseason.

But after missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2009, McCarthy might have already made up his mind about changes to his coaching staff, even though Dom Capers’ defense looked respectable for a change. Still, the most likely change this offseason would be at defensive coordinator, unless, of course, team president Mark Murphy decides it’s time for Thompson to go.

Yes, the game was surprisingly still in play into the fourth quarter, as ugly as it was for the Packers’ offense, with five starters on the inactive list: receiver Davante Adams (concussion), linebackers Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder) and Clay Matthews (hamstring), cornerback Damarious Randall (knee) and guard Jahri Evans (knee). That did not include Aaron Rodgers, who went on injured reserve earlier in the week after the Packers decided to shut him down the week after he returned from his broken collarbone.

Who knows how many, if any, of those players could have played if the Packers were still in the playoff race? Then it didn’t get any better when receiver Jordy Nelson (shoulder), tight end Richard Rodgers (shoulder), running back Aaron Jones (knee) and right tackle Jason Spriggs (knee) were lost during the game.

“I mean, it’s really hard,” Hundley said. “When you’ve got two big studs [Adams and Nelson] out there and then you lose them. Your right tackle goes down on the first play, then your running back goes out. I mean, it becomes really hard, but at the same time, a lot of people got reps and experience, and you’ve got find a way to win. That’s the name of the game.

“Defense played their butts off. Offense, we didn’t capitalize on the plays we needed to, and that starts with me. I’ve got to be able to lead this team no matter who’s on the field and get us in better opportunities to put some points on the board.”

As bad as Saturday night’s game looked with all those players out, the finale in Detroit might be even tougher to watch.

“We’ve got to play better,” Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said. “We have to find ways to win ballgames. We won’t take credit for anything. We’ve just got to continue to stay together, man, find ways to win ballgames, I guess. There’s a lot of things going on down here in this locker room, a lot of guys banged up, a lot of guys not playing, a lot of guys not putting their best foot forward. We’ve just got to hold guys accountable. The ones that step on the field with us, let’s go to work. The ones that don’t want to play, just turn your pads in and wait for next year.”

 

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Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis provided the latest example of why the NFL will take a serious look this winter at instituting a “targeting” rule, one that would force an automatic ejection for a hit above the shoulders to a defenseless player.

Davis leveled Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams during an interception return in the third quarter of Sunday’s game, illegally making helmet-to-helmet contact from the side and inflicting a concussion. The Panthers were penalized 15 yards, but Davis was allowed to continue playing. (He will face discipline, and possibly a future suspension from the NFL.) If this season has shown us anything, it’s that the league’s current rules aren’t curbing dangerous hits to the head as well as they should.

NFL officials have the right to eject players for such hits but are clearly reluctant to. None of the 15 ejections in the NFL this season have been for on-field incidents. When he acknowledged the possibility of a targeting rule earlier this month, NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent noted it can serve as a “deterrent.” It would also lift the responsibility of ejections from officials and make them automatic every time they called a penalty that fell under the rule.

Would targeting actually deter helmet-to-helmet shots on defenseless players? As we noted recently, results from the college targeting rule are mixed at best. But if you operate under the assumption that the NFL will follow every avenue to minimize hits to the head, whether its intent is genuine or for public relations, you can expect a serious targeting discussion this offseason. Davis’ hit on Adams and the minimal immediate consequences he faced for it are the latest reasons why.

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Another Packers player is up for the NFL clutch performer of the week following yet another overtime triumph on Sunday.

One week after rookie running back Aaron Jones  captured the award for his walk-off touchdown run against Tampa Bay, receiver Davante Adams has been nominated after his 25-yard game-winning touchdown catch in Sunday’s 27-21 comeback victory over the Cleveland Browns.


Adams led the Packers with 10 catches for 84 yards and scored two touchdowns in the final 5 minutes, 12 seconds of the contest. The fourth-year receiver is tied for second in the NFL with nine touchdown receptions and is only 172 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season.Vote Adams for clutch performer of the week here. Other nominees include Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Jacksonville cornerback A.J. Bouye.

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Bring back Aaron Rodgers. This season can still be saved.

Miraculously. Unexpectedly. Extraordinarily.

And with a little — OK, a lot of — thanks to the winless Cleveland Browns.

Ten wins, which was Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s formula for getting into the playoffs, is still on the board. At 7-6 with three games to go — at Carolina, home against Minnesota and at Detroit — it’s not over yet.

All that’s left to find out is whether Rodgers’ surgically repaired right clavicle has mended. If so, this 27-21 comeback victory in overtime — the second straight week the Packers have won in sudden-death fashion — combined with the return of their two-time MVP quarterback could turn out to be a defining moment in a season that for most of Sunday looked like it would end up lost.

“The way we fought, these last two weeks … to get that overtime win last week and do that same thing is huge,” said Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. “There’s your season right there.”

Of course, if the scan of Rodgers’ collarbone shows that the break suffered nearly two months ago hasn’t completely healed, then Sunday’s win could prove to be just an afterthought because it would seem unlikely that a Brett Hundley-led team could run the table.

Although after the way Hundley engineered a pair of second-half touchdown drives to rally the Packers from a 21-7 deficit to get to overtime, maybe it’s not as unfathomable as it sounds.

For much of the afternoon, this looked like it had the makings of one of the most humiliating losses since the 1997 Packers lost to the 0-10 Colts. That team, however, went to the Super Bowl. This one, however, still has so much more work to do to even make the playoffs.

But remember, Rodgers was playing at an MVP level before Anthony Barr changed the course of the Packers’ season with the hit that broke Rodgers’ right collarbone.

Rodgers had thrown 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions, and the Packers’ only loss in their first five games with him at the helm came at Atlanta.

“We love Aaron Rodgers, but I will not answer any questions about him today,” McCarthy said after the game. “This is about winning the game, and he’s still in the medical situation and as soon as we have the information we’ll try to get it to you.”

They still have all of their receivers, including Davante Adams, whose 1-yard touchdown on a back-shoulder throw sent the game into overtime and whose 25-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the extra session won it.

It was Hundley’s third win since Rodgers’ injury.

Now, they have a revamped running attack that, although it struggled for most of Sunday’s game, is just a week removed from a season-best 199-yard performance against the Buccaneers.

“It gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” said Hundley, who threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. “This team has a lot of fight, I’ll tell you that. We’re not out of this thing. We have a lot of fight in us. These two last games, we fought back. When we needed to execute, we executed. When our backs were against the wall, we came out swinging. We’ve done it for the last two weeks — came up short [against] the Steelers. This team has a lot of fight and it’s not over yet.”

The Browns gift-wrapped this one when their rookie quarterback, DeShone Kizer, threw one up for grabs in overtime with Matthews in his face. Rookie Josh Jones intercepted it, giving the Packers a short field to set up the game-winning score.

Of course, all the optimism over Rodgers’ return to practice last week and the face-saving overtime win over the Browns could be dashed if tests show Rodgers’ collarbone hasn’t completely mended.