GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Two main topics came up with Davante Adams on Wednesday: his availability for Sunday, when he has a chance to put himself into the Green Bay Packers record books, and his views on the team’s coaching search.
He couldn’t be sure about either, but he had strong feelings on both.
On Sunday’s season finale against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field, where he should easily break the team record for most catches in a season and with a big day could set the yardage mark, too, he said: "I see myself being out there. I'm always going to be optimistic. A little sore right now, but we'll play it throughout the week and see how it feels."
On interim coach Joe Philbin’s status, Adams made the strongest statement of anyone so far for Philbin to be retained as the full-time replacement for Mike McCarthy: "I'd love for him to be. I'd love if the search stopped there."
Adams knows he has more control over Sunday than he does what happens in the days and weeks after the season.
He needs two catches to break Sterling Sharpe’s single-season team record of 112, something that seemed like a forgone conclusion after he snagged 11 passes -- including the winning touchdown in overtime -- on Sunday against the Jets. That put him at 111 receptions for the season. But after the game, Adams hinted that he was "not feeling great," and Wednesday he was seen riding an exercise bike instead of practicing. Afterward, he revealed that he suffered a right knee injury in the first quarter against the Jets when cornerback Morris Claiborne hit him there on Adams’ second catch of the game.
"It stiffened up a lot after the game, so I'm just trying to keep a close eye on it and look out," Adams said Wednesday. "He landed on top of me and just kind of tweaked it, made it feel a little funny."
That’s the same knee Adams injured in a wild-card playoff game against the Redskins in January 2016. It kept him out of the divisional-round loss at Arizona the next week.
It also could prevent Adams from making a serious run at Jordy Nelson’s club record for receiving yards (1,519). He needs 134 on Sunday to eclipse that.
Adams could put himself into the record books exactly one year to the date after he signed a four-year, $58 million contract extension. To that point, Adams not only had never had a 1,000-yard receiving season -- although he did get to 997 in 2016 -- but he had sustained three concussions within a 14-month stretch.
Since then, Adams has stayed relatively healthy -- until Sunday’s knee injury -- and produced like the Packers believed he would when they signed him to the extension.
"The best thing about things like this is I felt like they come when you don’t really expect," Adams said. "Not that I didn’t expect to put up numbers, but I didn’t go into it saying I want to beat Jordy’s record. I went into it saying I’m going to try to beat my stuff from previous years. Get better than the first time I played the Lions, that’s my mentality. The good thing about the football gods is they reward you when you have your head on straight and you’re worried about the right things.
"Obviously I would much rather trade in whatever it is, records, to be in a better position to be competing for a championship right now. It’s definitely an awesome thing when you can reflect where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I don’t even like to talk about where I am now because I feel like I’m still not there yet."
Would the Packers (6-8-1) hold him out of Sunday’s meaningless finale even if his knee is cleared?
Philbin has given no indication that would be the case. He said going into the Week 16 meeting with the Jets that healthy players will play.
The same is expected to be true for Aaron Rodgers in the finale. However, if All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari (hip) can’t play, perhaps the Packers would hold out their franchise quarterback. Last Sunday, Bakhtiari fought through the late-game injury and stayed on the field for overtime, saying, "If 12 is out there, I’m out there."
But what if No. 69, Bakhtiari, isn’t out there?
"Yeah, I plan on playing," Rodgers said.
And he plans on putting Adams in the record books.
"He’s gotta first of all play," Rodgers said. "Obviously I’m hoping that he does play. I’d like to hit him on a touchdown pass for any type of record he’s breaking, get it a little more dramatic."