GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – Davante Adams woke up Thursday not knowing if he would be cleared to play after spending a few days in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
The doctors gave him the go-ahead in the early afternoon.
By the time the night was over, the third-year receiver had the best game of his young career.
Adams had 13 catches for a career-high 132 yards and two scores, Aaron Rodgers threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers overpowered the Chicago Bears in the second half for a 26-10 victory.
“In a sense, a statement game. I’m ready to play. I felt good,” Adams said about the significance of his milestone day.
Rodgers reached a milestone, too. He was 39 of 56, setting a franchise mark for completions in a game.
The Bears (1-6) are down to their third-string quarterback after Brian Hoyer, who was starting for the already injured Jay Cutler, left in the second quarter with a broken left arm. Matt Barkley was 6 of 15 for 81 yards and two interceptions in place of Hoyer.
“I don’t think anybody’s proud of what we’ve done so far,” Chicago tight end Zach Miller said. “You can describe it in many ways. It’s no fun.”
The injury to Hoyer had the Bears trying to lean on their running game. It didn’t work, either.
The Packers (4-2) needed to lean on Rodgers with injuries depleting the running back position. Playmakers emerged in the receiving corps.
Ty Montgomery, a second-year wideout who also lines up in the backfield, took the majority of snaps at running back. He ran for nine carries on 60 yards and caught 10 passes for 66 yards.
Adams took advantage of overmatched cornerback De’Vaunte Bausby with the Bears’ top cornerback, Tracy Porter, defending Jordy Nelson much of the night.
Veteran Randall Cobb had 11 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s fun to get those guys involved. When you’re looking at matchups, a lot of times that dictates where the football goes,” Rodgers said.
The Bears were not having fun, especially in the second half.
It started promisingly enough after Leonard Floyd’s stripped Rodgers on a sack on third-and-10 from the Packers 15 and recovered the fumble in the end zone. That gave Chicago a 10-6 lead 30 seconds into the third quarter.
The Packers scored touchdowns on their next three drives. The Bears never crossed the Green Bay 42 in the second half.
Other notes and takeaways from the game:
HOYER HURT: The quarterback left early in the second quarter after getting hit by Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews on an incompletion on third-and-6 from midfield. The right-handed Hoyer looked as if he landed on his left arm. He was attended to by trainers on the field for a couple minutes before going to the locker room. Hoyer was 4 of 11 for 49 yards.
The good news for the Bears is that they now have 10 days until their next game, on Oct. 31 against Minnesota. Maybe they’ll have Cutler by then, too.
SHORT AND SWEET: The Packers moved effectively on short gains most of the night, but couldn’t break into the end zone until Adams caught the first of his two touchdown receptions with 9:11 left in the third quarter for a 13-10 lead. Rodgers took advantage of Chicago’s soft underneath coverage. Adams made Nelson-like spin moves to break away from cornerbacks for extra yards.
PASS TO RUN: Montgomery got the start in the backfield with running backs Eddie Lacy (ankle) and James Starks (knee) out. He and Cobb have similar, versatile skill sets. With a short week to prepare, the Packers didn’t have much time to get newly-acquired running back Knile Davis up to speed on the playbook. But Montgomery filled the void in the backfield.
“The short passing game is like an extension of the running game in games like tonight when you’re going with a lot of four-receiver packages with Ty back there,” Rodgers said. “I’m really proud of the way he played. There’s a lot to build on.”
BIG FLOYD: The Bears’ only touchdown came from Floyd, who had been limited in practice this week with a calf injury. “He has got those kinds of abilities. It’s been problematic a little bit having him out there, but it was good to have him back out there tonight,” coach John Fox said.
Bears: Besides Hoyer, RG Kyle Long left in the second quarter with an arm injury.
Packers: RB Don Jackson, who was just activated from the practice squad Thursday to replace Lacy, left with a hand injury.
GENARO C. ARMAS