Even though they retained Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Carl Davis in free agency, the New England Patriots’ interior defensive line will still look quite different this year. After all, three players were added via the open market: Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson were each signed to two-year contracts, while Montravius Adams was added via a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Why did Adams get a shorter pact compared to Godchaux and Anderson? His inconsistent production since arriving in the league as a third-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers appears to have played a role in this decision. Also a factor to be considered is an extensive injury history that saw him miss time in all but one of his four years in the NFL.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at his medical history to find out what it all means from New England’s perspective.
2013 (Dooly County High School): Adams was invited to the All-America Game following his high school career in Vienna, Georgia. However, he eventually had to sit out the all-star contest after hurting his left foot in practice leading up to the game. The issue was first believed to be an ankle ailment, but Adams later told his teammates that he had suffered a stress fracture in his foot.
2013 (Auburn): Adams’ first year at Auburn saw him miss the team’s mid-October contest versus Western Carolina. One week prior, the defensive tackle had suffered a left knee injury versus Ole Miss and subsequently had to sit out one game.
2014 (Auburn): As a sophomore in 2014, Adams had to leave the Tigers’ late-September game versus Louisiana Tech. He hurt his shoulder and eventually left for the locker room. The issue was only a short-term problem, though, and Adams eventually able to suit up against LSU the following week.
2017 (Packers): Early into his first training camp in Green Bay, Adams suffered another stress fracture in his left foot. He had to undergo surgery to have a screw inserted and missed all of the Packers’ preseason as well as virtually all of his team’s summer practices. Adams did return in early September, but the issue cost him any momentum heading into his first NFL career. He eventually finished his rookie campaign with just seven in-game appearances as well as a mere 66 defensive snaps.
2019 (Packers): After not suffering any reported injuries during his 2018 sophomore season, Adams had to miss two games in September 2019 due to a shoulder issue. He returned in October and resumed his role as a rotational defensive tackle.
Adams again popped up on an an injury announcement in early December. He had to leave the Packers’ Week 14 game against Washington due to an illness. While not listed on the practice report on before or after that contest, Adams played just 19 defensive snaps and 27 special teams snaps over the final four weeks of Green Bay’s 2019 season. He did see somewhat increased action in the playoffs again, though, playing a combined 36 snaps over two games.
2020 (Packers): Adams’ 2020 season was pretty much doomed from the start. He suffered a sprained toe on his right foot in training camp and was hampered throughout the year. While missed only one game — the season opener against Minnesota — over the first two months of the season, the issue eventually forced Green Bay to send him to injured reserve for the remainder of the season: the Packers placed Adams on IR in late November and did not reactivate him again. He ended up playing in eight games.
The toe issue was not the only one he had to deal with during his final season as a Packer, though. Adams also was questionable leading into the Week 6 bout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a neck injury. He did miss one practice because of the ailment but eventually ended up playing a season-high 28 defensive snaps.
One week later, Adams again popped up on Green Bay’s injury list. He had to miss the Friday practice leading into the game against the Houston Texans due to a foot issue and was listed as questionable. Adams did eventually play 23 defensive snaps and 10 more in the kicking game, though.
What this means for the Patriots
If there has been one constant in Adams’ career since high school so far it is injuries. This became obvious in the NFL: due to various ailments he missed one third of Green Bay’s games over his four years with the organization. While some of them like his shoulder injury in 2019 were of the comparative minor variety, others did hamper him quite a bit.
Most notably among those are his foot issues. Adams suffered two stress fractures in his left foot coming out of high school and as a rookie with the Packers. That said, the second of those injuries plus follow-up surgery appeared four years ago and should therefore not be seen as an indicator for future problems. The same is true for other medical issues as well.
Still, the Patriots were able to get Adams on a discount because of them. Now, they will have to hope that he can leave them behind and live up to the talent levels that made him a five-star recruit out of high school and a third-round pick in 2017.