Posts Tagged ‘Green Bay Packers’

Aaron Rodgers rebounded from a dreadful start and helped the Green Bay Packers spoil Bailey Zappe’s unexpected NFL debut with the New England Patriots.

Rodgers threw two second-half touchdown passes and led an overtime drive that resulted in Mason Crosby’s 31-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Packers to a 27-24 victory on Sunday.

The dramatic finish came after Rodgers went 4 of 11 for 44 yards for an 11.2 passer rating in a first-half performance that included New England’s Jack Jones scoring on a 40-yard interception return, lifting the Patriots to a 10-7 halftime lead.

“I settled in and usually don’t have two terrible halves, so I kind of returned to the form I expect from myself, and we started moving the football,” said Rodgers, who went 21 of 35 for 251 yards.

Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round pick from Western Kentucky, played the majority of the game after Brian Hoyer left with a head injury. Hoyer made his first start since 2020 in place of Mac Jones, who injured his left ankle during last weekend’s 37-26 loss to Baltimore.

Hoyer led New England to Nick Folk’s 37-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive, but he got sacked by Rashan Gary on the team’s next series and departed.

Zappe and the Patriots (1-3) still played well enough to force overtime, but Rodgers continued his recent home mastery of AFC teams. The Packers (3-1) are 18-1 in the last 19 home games Rodgers has started against AFC foes.

“Of course, it was exciting at first,” said Zappe, who went 10 of 15 for 99 yards with a touchdown. “It was a dream come true to play in an NFL game. It’s obviously not the outcome we wanted at all.”

After the Packers went three-and-out on the opening possession of overtime, Marcus Jones’ 20-yard punt return gave New England the ball at its 49-yard line. Gary said he had one thing on his mind at that point.

“Get (Rodgers) back the ball,” said Gary, who had two sacks. “Give ‘12’ back the ball. We have a quarterback like that, a living Hall of Famer, he’s able to do wonderful things for us. You all know what he can do with the ball. We also know what he can do with the ball.”

After the Packers forced a three-and-out and the Patriots punted, Green Bay marched 77 yards in a 12-play drive that lasted nearly seven minutes before Crosby made his winning kick.

“We get the ball there at the 10-yard line in the second possession of overtime, and it’s amazing to have no doubt that we’re going to have an (opportunity) to try to win it,” Crosby said. “Snap, hold, protection, everything was great all day. So, yeah, it’s nice to be able to finish that thing off.”

Green Bay had tied the game at 24 on Rodgers’ 13-yard touchdown pass to rookie Romeo Doubs with 6:14 remaining. They nearly connected again in the closing minutes of regulation.

With the Packers facing third-and-8 from the New England 40, Rodgers threw deep to a diving Doubs in the right corner of the end zone. Dobbs got past Jonathan Jones and caught the pass, but the ball slipped out of his hands after he landed.

New England withstood the injuries to its top two quarterbacks to lead on the road for much of the day. The Patriots were helped by their ability to contain Rodgers in the first half.

Jack Jones’ touchdown with 13 seconds left in the second quarter was Rodgers’ first pick-6 since Tampa Bay’s Jamel Dean scored on a 32-yard interception return in the Buccaneers’ 38-10 victory on Oct. 18, 2020.

Rodgers rebounded after halftime and threw touchdown passes to Doubs and Robert Tonyan for the tight end’s first score since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament last season.

“I’ve been a great player for a long time,” Rodgers said. “Not a whole lot I need to tell myself. Just play better.”

Aaron Jones rushed for 110 yards to lead Green Bay’s 199-yard attack on the ground. Allen Lazard had six catches for 116 yards.

Zappe gave New England a 17-10 lead in the third quarter with a 25-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. The ball appeared to get snapped after the play clock had expired on Parker’s touchdown, but no penalty was called.

After Crosby’s 38-yard field goal late in the third, New England regained the lead on Damien Harris’ 5-yard touchdown run with 11:14 left. Harris rushed for 86 yards on 18 carries, while Rhamondre Stevenson ran 14 times for 66 yards.

Then Rodgers led the Packers back again. This time, the Patriots couldn’t respond.

“In the end, Rodgers is just too good,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “He made some throws that only he can make.”

INJURIES

Packers S Adrian Amos left in the first quarter with a head injury. Patriots TE Jonnu Smith left with an ankle injury.

The Patriots played without DT Lawrence Guy (shoulder), CB Jalen Mills (hamstring) and WR Jakobi Meyers (knee). The Packers were missing CB Jaire Alexander (groin).

UP NEXT

Patriots: Host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Packers: Play an international regular-season game for the first time in franchise history when they face the New York Giants on Sunday at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers did just enough to beat Tom Brady and the short-handed Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The NFL MVP threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns, and the Packers withstood a late rally led by Brady to hold off the Bucs for a 14-12 victory in the first meeting between the teams since Tampa Bay won the NFC championship game two seasons ago.

“It’s Week 3. It feels good for sure. There could be some tiebreakers and stuff down the line when you beat a team like this,” Rodgers said after defeating Brady for the first time in three tries since the seven-time Super Bowl champion joined the Bucs in 2020.

“I have a ton of respect for him. He’s been a trailblazer at the position for a long time,” Rodgers said. “I’ve had a lot of fun competing against Tom over the years and it’s always nice to come out on top.”

Rodgers tossed TD passes of 5 yards to Romeo Doubs and 6 yards to Allen Lazard on his team’s first two possessions, while the Bucs’ offense sputtered much of the day without star receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones.

For the second straight week, the Bucs (2-1) were held without a touchdown into the fourth quarter. Brady finally got them into the end zone on a 1-yard pass to Russell Gage, capping an 89-yard drive with 14 seconds remaining.

Tampa Bay’s bid to force overtime with a 2-point conversion was thwarted, first by a delay-of-game penalty and then an incomplete pass that was tipped by Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who also had 14 tackles.

The Packers (2-1) forced two turnovers and held Tampa Bay to fewer than 200 net yards before the Bucs’ final drive.

“One thing we always talk to our guys about is how are you going to respond when adversity strikes, specifically our defense,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “To allow a touchdown there in a two-minute drive and just to reset themselves and play that final play. It was a gritty team win. We had a lot of guys step up.”

Rodgers completed 27 of 35 passes and was intercepted once in the first matchup in NFL history in which each starting quarterback has won at least three regular-season league MVP awards.

Rodgers has won four, including the past two, while Brady has three MVPs.

Ryan Succop kicked a pair of 45-yard field goals for the Bucs, the second trimming Green Bay’s lead to 14-6 midway through the third quarter.

Brady, who won three of four previous head-to-head matchups with Rodgers, finished 31 of 42 passing for 271 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked three times and got minimal help from a rushing attack that produced 34 yards on 14 attempts.

“Too many plays where we were behind the sticks, penalties, turnovers, missed opportunities,” Brady said. “The defense played great. We have to do a better job. We haven’t scored many points all season.”

The 45-year-old Brady actually had Tampa Bay’s longest run of the day, an 18-yard scramble that was nullified by a holding penalty in the third quarter. He broke the brace he wears on his left knee when he slid at the end of the run.

After leading the NFL in completions, passing yards and touchdowns last season, Brady has has thrown for 673 yards, three TDs and one interception through three games.

With Evans serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-field brawl the previous week at New Orleans and without Godwin and Jones — two of Brady’s other primary receivers — the Bucs were forced to rely on Gage, Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, Jaelon Darden and newly signed Cole Beasley against the Packers.

Rodgers led long scoring drives on Green Bay’s first two possessions, building a 14-3 halftime lead that could have been bigger.

Aaron Jones fumbled into the end zone after a 3-yard reception to the Bucs 2, costing the Packers a chance to add at least three points late in the second quarter. The Green Bay offense was never the same after that.

Safety Ryan Logan recovered the fumble that kept the Packers from building on their lead, and later had an interception that led to Succop’s second field goal.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles noted his defense settled after a slow start, keeping Tampa Bay in the game. In the end, though, it wasn’t enough.

“There were a few things that happened that we can’t let happen,” Bowles said. “We had six crucial penalties. We made dumb mistakes.”

BEASLEY DEBUT

Beasley, who was signed to the practice squad last week, made his debut with Tampa Bay after three practices. The 33-year-old receiver played the first seven seasons of his career with Dallas before spending the past three with Buffalo. His first catch with the Bucs was a 4-yarder on fourth-and-1 in the first quarter. He finished with three catches for 12 yards.

INJURIES

Packers: LT David Bakhtiari played for just the second time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Dec. 31, 2020. … Rookie WR Christian Watson (hamstring) was inactive. … CB Jaire Alexander (groin) did not play in the second half.

Buccaneers: In addition to Godwin (hamstring) and Jones (knee), the Bucs played without LT Donovan Smith (elbow) for the second straight game. Smith was replaced in the lineup by first-year pro Brandon Walton.

UP NEXT

Packers: Host the New England Patriots next Sunday.

Buccaneers: Remain at home next Sunday night to face the Kansas City Chiefs, the first matchup between Brady and Patrick Mahomes since the Super Bowl won by Tampa Bay two seasons ago.

Aaron Jones made sure the Green Bay Packers’ promise to get him the ball more often paid off.

Jones rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and caught a scoring pass from Aaron Rodgers, who continued his domination of the Chicago Bears by leading Green Bay to a 27-10 victory on Sunday night.

Jones had five carries for 49 yards and three catches for 27 yards in a season-opening 23-7 loss at Minnesota, and the Packers (1-1) vowed he’d have a bigger role.

“That just naturally put a smile on my face,” Jones said. “I knew I had to show up when my number was called. That just pushes me that much harder.”

Jones came through, gaining 8.8 yards per rush and leading the Packers’ 203-yard ground attack. He had 15 carries as well as three catches for 38 yards.

Green Bay beat the Bears (1-1) for a seventh straight time, matching its second-longest win streak in the 205-game history of the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Packers won 10 straight over the Bears from 1994-98. They have two other seven-game win streaks in this series, from 1928-30 and 2000-03.

The Packers built a 24-7 halftime lead by dominating the second period, then made a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter to thwart a Bears comeback attempt.

“Coming out with a disappointing loss like this, it hurts,” Bears quarterback Justin Fields said. “We’ve just got to respond.”

A week after he struggled to connect with his new crop of receivers, Rodgers was characteristically efficient, going 19 of 25 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers are 24-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers has started.

“Tonight was really about 28 (A.J. Dillon) and 33 (Jones), getting them the football,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t play great. I feel like the stats look a little better than the game. … I missed some throws that I should never miss. There were some opportunities for more points out there.”

Chicago’s David Montgomery rushed for 122 yards on 15 carries. Fields had a touchdown run and was 7 of 11 for 70 yards with an interception.

The Packers outscored the Bears 21-0 in the second quarter. Jones scored twice, both times catching pitches from Rodgers in the backfield and reaching the end zone.

The first was a backward pass that got ruled as a 15-yard carry. On the second touchdown, Jones went in motion, caught a flip pass in the backfield and scored from 8 yards out. Jones benefited from the return of right tackle Elgton Jenkins, playing for the first time since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament last Nov. 12.

“If he’s not in the lineup, we don’t win that game,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of Jenkins. “It transcends his level of play, what he’s able to bring to us. For his first night out, I thought he did a great job.”

Even though the Packers had talked all week about getting the ball to Jones more often, the Bears couldn’t slow him down.

“It says a lot about our offense,” Jones said. “You know what’s coming, but you have to stop it. That’s not easy to do. I just say kudos to our whole offensive unit and our whole team for responding and bouncing back from last week.”

Jones’ second score was Rodgers’ 450th career touchdown pass. The only other players to reach that mark are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.

Rodgers added No. 451 in the final minute of the first half with a 5-yard completion to Allen Lazard, who sat out the Vikings game with an ankle injury.

Rodgers completed passes to eight receivers. None had more than three receptions, but Sammy Watkins turned his trio of catches into 93 yards.

The Bears made the game competitive in the second half by capitalizing on Green Bay’s mistakes.

Cairo Santos’ 40-yard field goal cut Green Bay’s lead to 24-10 after a fumbled exchange between Rodgers and A.J. Dillon gave the Bears the ball at their own 31.

The Packers’ next series got foiled when a snap from Josh Myers hit receiver Christian Watson, who was in motion, and got past Rodgers. Dillon recovered the fumble, but it put the Packers in a third-and-22 situation and led to a punt.

Chicago drove toward Green Bay’s end zone and had an apparent 6-yard touchdown run by Fields overturned when replays determined he was down before stretching his arm across the goal line. On the next play, Fields ran again on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1, and officials ruled that Preston Smith and Jarran Reed stopped him just short of the end zone with a little over eight minutes left in the game.

“Who knows? If they get a touchdown there, the game could completely flip,” Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell said. “So I think we did a good job of winning situational football.”

INJURIES

Bears DB Dane Cruikshank hurt his hamstring in the first half.

UP NEXT

Bears: Host Houston on Sunday.

Packers: At Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Derek Carr wanted nothing more than to reunite with former college teammate Davante Adams, and he apparently wasn’t worried about coming on too strong in his attempts to recruit the receiver to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Carr told ESPN’s Tim Keown that he called Adams right after the Raiders lost in the wild-card round in January.

“Oh, man,” Carr said, “I was egregious.”

The quarterback said he told the then-Green Bay Packers star, “Hey, whenever you’re ready, I’m ready. Let’s figure this thing out.”

After the Packers followed the Raiders out of the postseason in the divisional round with an upset loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Carr resumed his recruitment of Adams.

“I’m not going to lie,” Carr said. “I texted him the next day. I couldn’t help myself.

The NFL has no rules prohibiting player-to-player recruitment.

Carr continued to pursue his fellow Fresno State alum over golf and during offseason throwing sessions. And his persistence worked, with the Raiders acquiring Adams for a first- and a second-round pick from the Packers in March.

The star pass-catcher signed a five-year, $141.25-million contract with Las Vegas that briefly topped the receiver market. Tyreek Hill, who switched teams in one of the other blockbuster trades of the offseason, quickly eclipsed Adams after his move to the Miami Dolphins.

Carr also committed his future to the Raiders in April, inking a three-year extension worth $121.5 million.

The Green Bay Packers‘ wide receivers were ordered to meet with the team’s quarterbacks and members of the offensive coaching staff Wednesday morning, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

The meeting came after quarterback Aaron Rodgers ripped the young receiving group for a lack of consistency Tuesday, criticizing them for “a lot of drops” and “a lot of bad route decisions.” However, Rodgers reportedly wasn’t the one who decided to have the meeting.

Seventh-round rookie Samori Toure said Wednesday that the young wideouts were given advice and reminded of the franchise’s prestigious past during the session.

“Basically, letting us know that the Green Bay receiving corps has always been held to a super-high standard,” Toure said. “All the legends who have been through here. It’s just about us carrying on that standard and stepping up.”

Fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs added that Rodgers explained to the wideouts what he likes based on specific concepts or looks he gets at the line of scrimmage.

“He just wants us to see what he sees, so then that way we can be able to react faster, play faster, and just be able to dominate and continue to be who we are,” Doubs said.

Doubs also acknowledged the benefit of being able to lean on veteran wideouts Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard through the process.

Drops plagued Green Bay during Friday’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers and Tuesday’s practice, prompting Rodgers to air his grievances publicly.

The Packers are expecting contributions from their young receiving corps after trading All-Pro wideout Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in March.

Aaron Rodgers isn’t happy with what he’s seen from the Green Bay Packers‘ young pass-catchers lately.

“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent,” the quarterback said Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We’ve got to get better in that area.”

The Packers had drop issues in their preseason opener Friday against the San Francisco 49ers, and those struggles remained during the team’s joint practice with the New Orleans Saints. Rookie wide receiver Romeo Doubs dropped what Rodgers described as his best throw of Tuesday’s practice.

“(The regular season is) coming up. … We’re going to play our best guys when the season starts,” Rodgers said. “And whoever those guys are, those guys are going to get the reps. It’s the guys I trust the most and the guys the coaches trust the most. A lot of it is just the simple responsibility in the offense.”

He added: “You keep dropping the ball, you’re not going to be out there. It’s going to be the most reliable guys that are out there. The preparation and the job responsibility is most important. There’s going to be physical mistakes, like we’ve talked about, but if you’re going out there and dropping the ball and somebody else behind you is in the right spot all the time and catching the ball, that guy’s going to play.”

Doubs, who’s stood out at practice due to his impressive catches, caught a 33-yard touchdown against the 49ers last week, though he also had two drops.

The Packers, who traded All-Pro receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in March, were criticized for not drafting a wideout with one of their two first-round picks this year. Green Bay eventually did add to the position, selecting Christian Watson (second round), Doubs (fourth round), and Samori Toure (seventh round). Watson has yet to participate in 11-on-11 practices as he recovers from a knee injury.

Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart is headlined by veterans Allen LazardSammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ use of the hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca during an offseason retreat isn’t considered a violation of the NFL’s drug policy.

Rodgers discussed on “The Aubrey Marcus Podcast” last week how he went on an ayahuasca retreat to Peru in 2020, before the third of his four MVP seasons. Ayahuasca is defined as a psychoactive beverage native to South America and is often used for religious, ritualistic or medicinal purposes.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Monday that it wouldn’t have triggered a positive test result on either the substance abuse or performance-enhancing substance policies collectively bargained by the NFL and its players’ association.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported McCarthy’s comment.

Rodgers said on the podcast that the retreat gave him “a deep and meaningful appreciation for life” and added that “I came back and knew I was never going to be the same.” Rodgers said he believed the experience helped pave the way for his success that year.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard enters the final year of his contract knowing he will probably get more targets than ever now that former teammate Davante Adams is with the Las Vegas Raiders.

That should give Lazard more incentive than ever. Then again, he already needed tremendous drive just to survive in the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Iowa State.

Lazard was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie. He didn’t initially make the Packers’ 53-man roster the following year. Now he has a chance to emerge as the No. 1 receiver for a Super Bowl contender as the Packers adapt to life without Adams.

“I think it added maybe a little fuel to that fire, so to speak,” Lazard said of Adams’ departure. “But it wasn’t like it ignited the flame.”

Green Bay must find some additional firepower in its passing attack after losing Adams, who was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders for a first-round pick and second-round pick.

Adams’ 432 catches, 5,310 yards receiving and 47 TD receptions over the past four seasons led the NFL in all three categories. The Packers also lost deep threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Packers boosted their receiving depth by signing veteran free agent Sammy Watkins and drafting North Dakota State’s Christian Watson in the second round, Nevada’s Romeo Doubs in the fourth and Nebraska’s Samori Toure in the seventh. Doubs has stood out thus far in training camp while Watson recovers from an offseason knee procedure.

But the most obvious candidate to grab a featured role is the 26-year-old Lazard, who set career highs with 40 catches for 513 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

“I really think Allen is ready to make a jump and be a No. 1 receiver,” quarterback and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers said.

Lazard has waited a decade for this moment.

“Since I was 16 years old, when I committed to Iowa State, this is the vision I saw, this is the vision I had,” Lazard said. “I never knew how I’d get here. I didn’t know I’d have to go through Jacksonville and fight my way up the roster to get to this point. But I knew eventually that I would be here.”

Lazard spent this offseason back in his home state working out at his alma mater.

He wanted to adopt the same mentality he had in college, when his Iowa State teams went a combined 8-28 his first three seasons before going 8-5 and winning the Liberty Bowl his senior year.

“The first three years we were terrible and I didn’t feel like I had the respect I deserved and I wanted,” Lazard said. “Being back there, being back in that weight room, on that field, just grinding again in that same environment just put me back in that mind frame of just how I want to approach that year. I want to go out there and prove to everyone what my value and what my worth should be.”

He means that in every respect.

Lazard was a restricted free agent this offseason and didn’t get a long-term deal. He could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this upcoming season.

“He has a lot to prove, I think, to himself and other people and maybe to the team as well,” Rodgers said. “So I like a hungry Allen Lazard.”

This situation may seem familiar to Packers fans.

Last year, Adams was in the final season of his contract when he produced a second straight All-Pro performance for the Packers and earned a five-year contract worth about $140 million from the Raiders. Lazard was asked how it feels to kind of be in the same boat, with an opportunity to play his way into a big contract.

“A way smaller boat,” Lazard pointed out. “He was probably on a yacht. I’m probably on a flat-bottom.”

Not too long ago, Lazard was simply trying to stay afloat.

Despite setting career records in catches and yards receiving at Iowa State, Lazard went undrafted. He signed with Jacksonville, got cut in the preseason and spent most of his rookie year on Green Bay’s practice squad.

Lazard eventually worked his way into a starting role and earned praise for his downfield blocking. He wants to take another leap this year while utilizing all he learned from Adams.

“It was just his mentality of trying to prove to everybody how good he was,” Lazard said. “He didn’t take a rep off. I think that’s something that I struggled with in college and as a younger guy, just trying to conserve my energy, my time and not understanding what the value of every play means to your career and to the team.”

Now he understands. It’s time to show how far he’s come.

The Green Bay Packers agreed to contract extensions with head coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst, and executive vice president Russ Ball this offseason, a source told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

The terms of the deals haven’t been reported.

Packers president Mark Murphy didn’t confirm the extensions while speaking with the media Monday, though he showed optimism LaFleur, Gutekunst, and Ball will stay in Green Bay “for years to come.”

Gutekunst was promoted to general manager in 2018 on a five-year contract that was set to expire after the 2022 campaign. LaFleur became the Packers head coach in 2019 after inking a four-year pact that included a fifth-year option, according to Demovsky.

Green Bay is 45-19-1 since Gutekunst replaced Ted Thompson, including a 39-10 record across three seasons with LaFleur on the sideline. The Packers, who last season became the first team in NFL history to win at least 13 games in three straight years, reached the NFC title game in each of LaFleur’s first two campaigns. The team lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round last season after earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Aaron Rodgers is excited by the physical traits of the Green Bay Packers‘ rookie wide receivers.

“Physically, they definitely look the part. All three of them,” the superstar quarterback said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday.

“All have physical gifts. Obviously, the top two picks are bigger – (Romeo) Doubs and (Christian) Watson – but the seventh-round pick got a lot of stuff to him. I think it’s going to be great.”

The Packers, who lost receivers Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason, didn’t use any of their two first-round picks on a wideout. Instead, the team drafted Watson in the second round, Doubs in the fourth round, and Samori Toure in Round 7.

Rodgers, the reigning back-to-back NFL MVP, believes the young pass-catchers will be put to the test against Green Bay’s solid defense at training camp.

“There’s no better teacher for them on what NFL ball is going to be like than going up against our top three corners, Jaire (Alexander), Eric Stokes, and Rasul (Douglas),” Rodgers said.

He added: “I like the way our defense is looking and playing. … There could be some growing pains for the offense, which will be great for us.”

Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart also features Allen LazardRandall Cobb, and Sammy Watkins, whom the club signed this offseason.

Rodgers is confident the Packers will overcome the loss of former All-Pro Adams.

“Every year, there are opinions that start coming out about players in helmets and shorts,” Rodgers said. “I would just say, ‘Everybody, take a nice, deep, long breath and trust the training camp time that we have. Trust the coaching staff. Trust the relationships that will be formed. Trust the guys in the room like Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Sammy Watkins to help these young guys out.'”