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Packers Hand Out Davante Adams’ Old No. 17 Jersey

Davante Adams might be the best No. 17 in NFL history. His jersey has been taken out of storage by the Packers.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – There’s a new No. 17 on the Green Bay Packers.

No, the Packers didn’t reacquire receiver Davante Adams, who starred in that jersey number the previous eight seasons. No, the Packers didn’t sign a veteran receiver – or even add one to their practice squad.

Rather, the Packers gave it to practice squad kicker Ramiz Ahmed. Ahmed had been wearing the un-kicker-like uniform No. 45 since joining the team midway through training camp.

No. 45, in turn, was given to new linebacker Eric Wilson.

Ahmed wore No. 26 at Nevada. To play in a regular-season game, a kicker has to be between No. 1 and No. 19.

After the first preseason game, the Packers released Gabe Brkic and signed Ahmed, whose professional claim to fame was a 61-yard field goal in the USFL. Ahmed turned out to be much more than just a camp leg to get the team through the preseason until veteran Mason Crosby was healthy. Ahmed missed only two kicks on the practice field and didn’t miss any in his two preseason games.

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Ahmed did well enough that he might be a consideration to replace Crosby, the 38-year-old who is in his 15th season with the team. Crosby is in his final season under contract. He has made all four field-goal attempts this season but has the lowest touchback rate and net average on kickoffs.

“Every week — until you’re maybe at Mason’s point — you’re being judged, criticized and your job is never necessarily safe,” Ahmed said during camp. “Proving myself in this league, I guess it’s something I want to do, but I don’t want to think about it like that. I want to go out and make kicks, and let other people make their judgments. I’ve always known I could kick in the NFL and that I would kick in the NFL. So, right now, I’m just focused on making kicks, and whatever anybody wants to say, they can say.”

Ahmed’s story is unique, even by kicker standards.

“If I’m on sticks, the farthest kick I’ve ever hit was 73,” he said. “I used to train that a lot more and chase the big balls but it’s not necessarily something that I do anymore. It’s not something that keeps you in the NFL. Maybe it gets your some looks but, once you’re in the door, you’ve got to make kicks. That’s what I’m focused on right now.”

As for Adams, he might be the best No. 17 in NFL history, in the running with Hall of Fame receiver Harold Carmichael and potential Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers.

In four games with the Raiders, he’s caught 26 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie Romeo Doubs leads the Packers with 19 catches for 184 yards, and Doubs and Allen Lazard have two touchdowns apiece.