Injuries Plague Lions, Packers -- Again
Packers will be without Al Harris (AP)
Packers will be without Al Harris (AP)
Special to RoarReport.com
Posted Nov 25, 2009


The last time the Lions played the Packers, Oct. 18 at Lambeau Field, they lost 26-0. And the game wasn't even that close. The Packers took 13 penalties, allowed five sacks, settled for field goals on three short fields and turned over the ball twice in the fourth quarter -- once on first-and-goal at the 3.

The last time the Lions played the Packers, Oct. 18 at Lambeau Field, they lost 26-0. And the game wasn't even that close. The Packers took 13 penalties, allowed five sacks, settled for field goals on three short fields and turned over the ball twice in the fourth quarter -- once on first-and-goal at the 3.

"We didn't play very well in that game, other than red-zone defense, where we did a pretty good job," coach Jim Schwartz said. "We played probably our worst game of the year against Green Bay, and they're a really good team and that's a tough place to play, so it gives us a little bit more resolve.

"It's our only chance to be on national television, and our players recognize the significance of that and how important that is, and they want to make up for that game up in Lambeau. There's carryover any time you play an opponent twice.

Added Schwartz, "They're a little bit more familiar with you, you're a little bit more familiar with them. It becomes a little bit more of a personnel matchup rather than a scheme matchup. Our players are anxious to get out there."

The Lions won't have to face linebacker Aaron Kampman and cornerback Al Harris, who suffered season-ending knee injuries. But coach Jim Schwartz tried to play that down.

"Any time you lose starters, you're going to have adjustments," Schwartz said. "They're a deep team. They have good cover guys that can step in at nickel. They run a lot of three corner packages this year, anyway.

"I think they're equipped to handle that, and they have really good depth at linebacker also. Anytime you run a 3-4, you're going to have a lot of linebackers on your roster, guys that play special teams and are used in a lot of different roles. They have guys that can replace them.

"Now, those two guys are Pro Bowl-type players. So, it's not just fitting somebody in, it's replacing the talent. I think their schemes will probably stay the same, but any time you have great players like that, you're going to miss them in some respect."

Like the original meeting, however, the Lions have injury concerns of their own. Like last time, they might be without receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Stafford didn't practice Tuesday and said he didn't know if he would play Thursday. But he said his left shoulder was improving, and he laughed when reporters said they were giving him the eyeball test as he took off his jersey in the locker room.

He pulled it over his head normally. Asked if the shoulder felt good enough to play, Stafford said: "Today, probably not. It's moving in the right direction."

Like Stafford, Johnson is a game-time decision.

Player Notes:

  • QB Matthew Stafford did not practice Tuesday after suffering an AC joint separation Sunday against Cleveland. He said he was feeling better but probably wouldn't play Thursday against Green Bay unless the pain improves.
  • WR Calvin Johnson did not practice Tuesday because of hand and knee injuries. Coach Jim Schwartz said he was improving but would be a game-time decision.
  • S Ko Simpson did not practice because of a knee injury. Schwartz said injured reserve was a possibility and the Lions would likely make the decision before the game.
  • S Marvin White is slated to take injured Ko Simpson's place in the starting lineup.
  • S Kalvin Pearson did not practice Tuesday because of a hamstring injury and seems unlikely to play.
  • LB Ernie Sims did not practice Tuesday because of a hamstring injury and seems unlikely to play.
  • DE Dewayne White did not practice Tuesday because of a toe injury and seems unlikely to play.

Related Stories
Schwartz Defends Team's Right To T-Day Game
 -by RoarDigest.com  Nov 25, 2009
Will He Start? Stafford's Status A Mystery
 -by RoarDigest.com  Nov 25, 2009
Behind Enemy Lines: Talking Packers at Lions
 -by PackerReport.com  Nov 25, 2009

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