Playing Time Slips Through Abbrederis’ Hands

The Packers continued to give Davante Adams the bulk of the playing time in three-receiver sets instead of Jared Abbrederis.

Following last week’s win at Oakland, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers advocated for second-year receiver Jared Abbrederis to get more snaps.

“He can get open. He’s a good route runner,” Rodgers said after Abbrederis caught three passes in three targets for 33 yards vs. the Raiders. “He needs to be on the field more.”

The Packers started in that direction during Sunday’s blowout loss at Arizona. On the first play of the second quarter, Rodgers went play-action and Abbrederis broke open on a deep crossing route. He was unable to haul in the pass, however. He caught a pass for a gain of 5 yards on the next play but the drive stalled and the Packers punted. On the next possession, the Packers went back to Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and James Jones in a three-receiver package.

Against the Raiders, Abbrederis played 27 snaps and received 36 percent playing time. Against the Cardinals, Abbrederis played 14 snaps and received 19 percent playing time. After the back-to-back targets to start the second quarter, Abbrederis didn’t see another ball thrown his direction.

“Jared Abbrederis had some opportunities,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday. “Had the dropped ball on the big play. However the substitution patterns go for each position group after that is usually based on performance and things of that nature.”

That’s a logical approach. However, Adams is having a miserable second season in the league but keeps getting rewarded with ample playing time. With the Week 3 game against Kansas City thrown out of the equation — Adams aggravated an ankle injury in that game and played only three snaps — Adams has played in about 88 percent of the snaps during his other 11 games.

His performance has not been worthy of the playing time. He’s caught 46 passes for 429 yards and one touchdown. According to STATS, he’s dropped six passes — tied for 11th in the league among all players. Pro Football Focus is a bit harsher, blaming Adams for 10 drops. Among wide receivers with at least 30 receptions, Adams’ drop rate of 17.9 percent is the fifth-highest in the league. He’s had touchdown passes slide through his hands in each of the past two games.

McCarthy wouldn’t specifically say why he’s stuck with Adams but showed less patience with Abbrederis on Sunday, other than to say it was “based on communication on the headsets” and specific packages. Ultimately, McCarthy said, who plays in what package is up to the position coach — in this case, quarterbacks/receivers coach Alex Van Pelt.

“He’ll continue to get more opportunities,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. “I think last night was obviously a situation where we changed personnel groupings a number of times. The plan changed, to be quite frank, as far as from a protection standpoint. So, we made certain adjustments. He’ll get more opportunities. We just have to make the most of our opportunities.”

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.

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