The moment Davante Adams got drafted by the Green Bay Packers last summer, he did consider one drawback: the sometimes bitterly cold Midwestern winters.
“I thought about that,” the ex-Fresno State star said. But there’s “a lot more good that goes into being here than dealing with the cold.”
Adams and the Packers will face the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Divisional game Sunday with temperatures expected to be in the low 20s. Not quite “Ice Bowl” territory, as the legendary 1967 NFL Championship Game between the franchises was billed 47 years ago, when it fell to minus-13.
But still plenty cold, especially for someone like Adams, who not only played his college ball in California but also prepped at Palo Alto High.
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“Just got to keep (the ball) high and tight,” Adams said.
The Packers practiced in their indoor facility on Wednesday but replicated the freezing conditions by leaving the doors open to near-zero weather outside. Inside, it was 22 degrees.
“That’s about what we’re looking for game time,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, “We didn’t go outside today because of the wind.”
The Packers have been practicing in freezing conditions since last week.
“Coaches made us go out … and make sure we get used to handling it in the cold and I think that’s good for us,” Adams said.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, continued to practice in cold weather outdoors in Dallas.
“It’s a relatively cold day here,” coach Jason Garrett said of temperatures in the 30s. “Prepare yourself accordingly and go play football. That’s what we emphasize to our team.”
The Cowboys likely will lean heavily on their running game, a cold weather-friendly phase of their offense that includes fullback and ex-Clovis High and Fresno State star Tyler Clutts. He has helped opened holes for All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray and also has a little cold-weather edge on Adams after spending time in the Canadian Football League.
“In my opinion, you cannot let the weather affect 1, the preparation, and 2, execution,” Clutts said. “I’ve been a part of teams that it has gone both ways and I don’t think this team is going to let weather affect us at all.
“Today was a perfect replica of what it’s going to be like Sunday.”
The Packers (12-4) are solid favorites at home, but despite closing the regular season with two straight wins are still remembering the lessons of their most recent loss. A 21-13 defeat at the hands of Buffalo on Dec. 14 snapped what was a five-game winning streak.
“We have a sense of urgency around here,” said Adams, who in his rookie season has 38 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns. “It fell off a little bit when we were in Buffalo, but we picked it back up and everything is flowing. ”
Wild-card round recap
A look at how players with central San Joaquin Valley ties fared in last week’s playoff games:
• Carolina Panthers linebacker Ben Jacobs (Fresno State) played in a 27-16 victory over Arizona though he didn’t record a tackle.
• Pittsburgh safety Robert Golden (Edison) also didn’t have a tackle as the Steelers were knocked out in a 30-17 loss to Baltimore.
• Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Chris Carter (Fresno State) played on special teams in a 26-10 loss to Indianapolis.