Ever wondered what happens to your favorite Packers players of years past? Sure, we all know where they ended up, but how are they performing? Old Friends seeks to answer that question and more, with a quick look around the league each week at what former Packers players are up to, how they’re playing, and how things have changed since their time in the green and gold.
With a little bit of research and a heaping dose of nostalgia, Old Friends will reminisce on the good times, the bad times, and the times you may have simply forgotten about altogether. So sit back, relax, and catch up with your pals as they succeed in the second, third, or even fourth acts of their careers.
This week, we’re once again checking in with everyone’s favorite Dragon Ball Z-loving running back who is tearing it up in Detroit. We’ll also be going down south to Houston, where a former Packers linebacker is mopping up tackles for an admittedly mediocre defense. Finally, we’ll check in with a hapless team in Sin City who are trying their hardest to turn their season around with their All-Pro former Packers receiver.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions
With D’Andre Swift on a pitch count as he continues to nurse an ankle injury, Jamaal Williams stepped into a featured role for the Lions as they took on the Minnesota Vikings. Williams carried the rock 20 times and caught 2 passes, totaling 107 yards on the day. His best highlight of the day came after the play when his penchant for dancing got the best of him and led to a penalty. After a 13-yard scamper to the end zone on which Williams bounced the ball outside and delivered a stiff arm to Patrick Peterson, he broke out a celebration from the famous Key & Peele sketch “McCringleberry’s Excessive Celebration.” Williams thrust his hips three times, and everyone knows the rule book only allows two. Without strict adherence to the two-pump rule, the league would be in complete and utter chaos.
Unsportsmanlike conduct flag for Jamaal Williams' touchdown celebration— Kendall Valenzuela (@kvalenzuela17) September 25, 2022
But outside of that, Williams’ week was superb. He’ll be expected to continue shouldering a large workload in the coming weeks as D’Andre Swift is expected to miss time with a shoulder injury.
Christian Kirksey, LB, Houston Texans
After a quick stop in Green Bay, Kirksey played in 13 games for the Texans last season, totaling 93 tackles, two QB hits, six tackles for loss, and an interception. His main role on the rebuilding Texans is to provide leadership to a young team and teach rookies like Christian Harris, the Texans’ third-round rookie linebacker who will come off IR in the near future.
On Sunday, his 100th career game, Kirksey played his usual janitorial role as he mopped up tackles for the Texans against the Bears. He totaled 7 tackles, including a 3rd and 6 stop in the 2nd quarter that lead to a Texans possession and touchdown on the subsequent drive. Rookie safety Jalen Pitre also credited Kirksey with making his interception possible, as Kirksey stayed with the Bears’ Darnell Mooney in coverage up the field, forcing Justin Fields to put too much air on the ball and clearing the way for Pitre to come down with the pass.
Most importantly, Kirksey is making an impact off the field. Ahead of its home opener on September 2nd, the Uvalde High School football team was visited by Kirksey and others in the Texans’ organization and gifted new uniforms from Nike. It’s safe to say that Christian Kirksey is making his presence felt every day in Houston and the state of Texas.
Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have hardly put together the storybook season they expected after some off-season splashes. Vegas is 0-3 and are the only win for both the Titans and the Cardinals. Despite the team’s woes, Adams has continued to look like a premier talent. Through three games, he’s been targeted a staggering 34 times, putting him on a 193-target pace. In week 3, Adams totaled five catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders also mixed in a run for Adams, his first of the season. Despite the decent game from Adams, the Raiders fell 24-22 and are left searching for answers as they face the Denver Broncos this week.
Davante Adams is just good.pic.twitter.com/NxdaN7N1Ic— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) September 25, 2022
That’s it for this week’s Old Friends! Be sure to check in next week to keep up with former Packers around the league, and stay tuned for all our coverage of this weekend’s matchup, including our halftime chat on Twitter Spaces @acmepackingco.