GREEN BAY – They’ve dunked, served lunch and now have even broken out the bobsleds.
Yeah, it’s safe to say the Packers have enjoyed the recent changes the NFL has made regarding touchdown celebrations.
The expansion of group celebrations has ushered in a wave of creativity for the Packers’ offense, especially when it comes to the receiver room, with ideas flying left and right during the first month of the season.
Things hit a fever pitch in Sunday’s 35-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys when Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams performed a three-man bobsled routine after Adams’ 10-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
Nelson, historically unassuming after scores, actually orchestrated the celebration, which consisted of Cobb and Adams crouching low and Nelson jogging in place and jumping in the back to represent the brakeman.
It instantly went viral on social media, with everyone from the Jamaican Bobsled Team to Olympian Lolo Jones commenting on the celebration on Twitter.
“I was trying to think of different things, sports or activities that different people do that you can have fun with,” said Nelson of the celebration’s origin. “I think it’s been great for the league to allow us to go back to the group celebrations. I think it’s more enjoyable than an individual dancing over there by the pylon. I think guys have gotten creative with it.”
The celebration resonated with a company who reached out to Adams on Monday, pitching a “Cool Runnings”-themed shirt with Nelson, Adams and Cobb in the center along with the 1993 film’s popular “Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time” phrase around them.
“I like it a lot,” said Nelson after Wednesday’s practice. “More importantly, it’s impressive how quickly they got it out. I think they were advertising it on Monday. They got a hold of Davante yesterday at 2 p.m. and then they’re here before we went to practice. They did a good job.”
They quickly earned a big fan in Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, though supplies were limited to mainly the receivers for the time being.
“I asked, I wanted a shirt. Size large,” Rodgers said. “We’ll see if I get one.”
The Packers’ receivers have been tossing ideas around in meetings all season. Second-year receiver Trevor Davis actually has served as one of the main choreographers, designing the lunchroom celebration Adams performed two weeks ago after a touchdown against the Bears.
That celebration featured several skill-position players and offensive linemen running up to Adams, who then “served” each of them after scoring a 5-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
Nelson also performed a dunk in the Packers’ opener against Seattle last month, mimicking a spin move and then dunking the football through Cobb’s arms.
“We joked about it a little bit and then we saw around the league people having fun with it, and it's not like we're singling out and doing crazy stuff,” Adams said. “We're not out here acting like clowns. It's fun. I think the fans have been pretty receptive to it, too. They've been waiting. So we might have some more stuff in store for them.”
The phenomenon has been taking the league by storm, though it’s also led to some duplication. Nelson jokingly said he was a little upset to see the Vikings’ “Duck, duck, gray duck (or goose)” celebration Monday night, as the Packers had something comparable planned in the near future.
Adams said most of his ideas have been shut down so far, but it hasn’t stopped him from trying. It’s almost become a small competition of sorts to see who can be the most creative.
The Packers have had plenty of chances at unique celebrations, as they lead the NFL with 13 touchdown catches through five games.
After finishing one-two in TD receptions last year, Nelson and Adams again are among the league leaders so far this year. Nelson’s six TDs lead all receivers, while Adams’ four are tied with three other receivers for fourth.
Nelson caught an early touchdown in Sunday’s win over Dallas, but was getting evaluated on the sideline for a back injury during the game-winning final series. He was a full participant in practice Wednesday, though, and expects to play Sunday against the Vikings.
“It’s nothing serious. Everything is good,” Nelson said. “Like I said, practicing all week and playing on Sunday.”
While the season is young and the Packers still have some good ideas for celebrations up their sleeves, they’re constantly brainstorming fresh ideas.
“Trevor brings us some good ideas,” Nelson said. “We’re scheming right now. We’ll see.”