Davante Adams isn't trying to make this game bigger than it is. But it's still a pretty big deal.
While in the prime of his career with the Raiders, this Monday Night Football game will be a full circle moment for the receiver that once called Green Bay, Wisconsin, home.
He was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Packers after leading the NCAA in receiving yards at Fresno State. He found himself in an exceptional receiver room with an MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.
However, things didn't click easily for Adams, playing through injuries his first two seasons. He broke through in his third season with 12 touchdowns and nearly 1,000 receiving yards, and never looked back.
"It's more just enjoying an opportunity to see some of the old faces from in the training room, coaches, a couple players," Adams said of facing his former team. "It's a much different team over the last couple of years since I was there. It'll be a cool opportunity to see some of those guys and obviously play against a team that I've never played against. It's my last team to play against, so it'll be fun."
Adams replicated the standard he set in Green Bay during his debut season in the Silver and Black. He led the league in touchdowns (14) in 2022 and broke the franchise single-season record for most receiving yards (1,516). He's one of three players who hold active single-season receiving yard records for two different current franchises and one of four players in the modern era to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns with two different teams.
With his arrival in Las Vegas, he reunited with wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett, who held the same title in Green Bay when Adams was drafted. The familiarity helped No. 17 adjust to the Raiders, as Bennett played a huge role in his early development.
"He always had that work ethic," Bennett has previously said of a young Davante Adams. "Just continuing to stay at it, harp on the attention to details and doing it the right way. Being on the same page with everyone and I think that's when you kept seeing jumps. He kept getting better and he went from good to great."
The Packers will certainly try to limit Adams' production, as they saw first-hand for eight seasons what he can do to defenses. The task will be easier said than done though.
The All-Pro receiver has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of his past four games on Monday Night Football. If he reaches the mark again this week, he'll become the first player in NFL history with at least 100 receiving yards in five consecutive MNF games.
"A lot of mutual love and respect between the Packers and I. But once the game starts, it's just like every other game," he said. "It's not going to be a whole lot of emotion and all that other stuff tied up in it once the clock is ticking. So, the story and the specialness of the opportunity to play the team that you kind of grew up in that organization is special, but then like I said, once we get going, it's time to go."
Other notable connections
- Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham spent the 2018 season as the Green Bay Packers inside linebackers coach and defensive run game coordinator.
- Raiders defensive backs/pass game coordinator Jason Simmons served as Green Bay's defensive backs coach in 2019.
- Raiders wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett is a Packers Hall of Famer. He still ranks ninth among the club's all-time rushers with a Super Bowl XXXI victory. He spent four years as the team's director of player development from 2001-04. He also held positions as the running backs coach (2005-10), wide receivers coach (2011-14) and offensive coordinator (2015-17).
- Raiders guard Greg Van Roten was originally signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Penn in 2012, and played two seasons with the team.
- Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson will go up against his brother, Packers kicker Anders Carlson. Both attended Auburn University and this is set to be their first meeting in the NFL.
- Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia served as the Raiders' assistant head coach/special teams coordinator (2019-21) prior to being named interim head coach for the final 12 regular-season games in 2021.
- Packers assistant special teams coach Byron Storer held the same title with the Raiders from 2018-21.
- Packers special teams quality control coach Kyle Wilber played for the Raiders from 2018-21, appearing in 46 games as a linebacker.
- Packers safety Dallin Leavitt signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Utah State in 2018. He played four seasons with the team, tallying 56 tackles (27 solo) and two fumble recoveries in 42 games.
- Packers cornerback Keisean Nixon spent the first three years of his career (2019-21) with the Silver and Black, appearing in 40 games with two starts.
View the best photos from practice as the Silver and Black prepare for their Week 5 matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Allegiant Stadium.