GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers will be without two of their premier players for Sunday night’s showdown against the New Orleans Saints, with receiver Davante Adams and defensive tackle Kenny Clark on the inactives list.
Adams’ absence is no surprise. He didn’t practice this week and was listed as doubtful on the injury report. Clark’s absence is more surprising. He suffered a groin injury late in the first half of the Week 1 game at Minnesota and was inactive last week. However, he did practice on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s one of our best players,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “It’s just such a lift to have him out there, and then just his level of play is just consistent. [He is] a guy that just fills the grade sheet with pluses and he makes big plays. But he’s super-consistent. It’s rare that he has a game where you say, wow, that was a bad game. He obviously would be a very welcome back and can’t wait to get them out there. And we’re hopeful that it’s going to be this weekend.”
Rookie tight end Josiah Deguara also is out.
Without Adams, two of the NFL’s best receivers are officially out for this big game.
The Packers made Adams an inactive with the hamstring injury sustained last week against Detroit. Since the start of the 2016 season, he leads the NFL in touchdown receptions. On Friday, the Saints ruled out Michael Thomas. Since the start of 2016, he leads the NFL in receptions by a wide margin.
It was a matchup Adams was looking forward to but will have to wait for a potential playoff matchup.
“I play like everybody’s watching. I try to play like that all the time, but certainly it will heighten it and give the game a little more edge,” Adams said on Wednesday. “But like I said, I try to make every – it’s a boring answer, it’s not what you all want to hear – but that’s really the way I approach it. I play like the TV copy is watching me every single snap, every route out there, I’m going to run it to try to win it, so if they compare me to whoever, last week it’s Kenny Golladay if he’s out there, I’m going to try to be the premier guy on the field every time.”
Green Bay promoted Darrius Shepherd from the practice squad and elevated defensive lineman Billy Winn from the practice squad to beef up both positions.
Green Bay’s other inactives are quarterback Jordan Love, defensive back Parry Nickerson and outside linebacker Randy Ramsey.
For the Saints, two starting defensive linemen, end Marcus Davenport and tackle David Onyemata, are inactive, as well.