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Idle Packers Face Lions In Week 17 Grudge Match

grudge match Keith Allison via Flickr


Idle Packers Head To Detroit For Week 17 Grudge Match

The Green Bay Packers prepare for the NFL offseason, but not before a grudge match with the Lions in Detroit. After being eliminated from playoff contention in Week 15, the Packers will look to build confidence in some inexperienced players in the final game of the season. With 14 players on the injury report, the Packers will be working with a limited cast. As a result, Sunday will provide an opportunity for unfamiliar faces to shine. Following a season of bobbing success, Green Bay will look to find more standout players as the season concludes.

Injury Report: Who’s Out

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The Packers enter their matchup against the Lions with a star-studded injury report. The most substantial injuries come from both of the starting wideouts. Young receivers will have an opportunity to show their worth on Sunday with both Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams ruled out. Nelson will be missing the game with a shoulder injury, while Adams will be out for the second straight week with a concussion. Following a recovery from an MCL injury earlier in the season, Aaron Jones will miss the matchup as well. Lastly, for the offense, starting guard Jahri Evans has also been ruled out.

Unfortunately, the Packers defense is enduring a similar fate. After suffering a transverse process fracture, Davon House will play on Sunday against the Lions. Sadly, Green Bay’s other cornerback, Damarious Randall, is questionable heading into the game. Also, Nick Perry is out heading into the grudge match. The availability of the edge rusher on the opposite side is up in the air as well. The Packers sack leader, Clay Matthews, is suffering from a hamstring injury that could keep him out. With the offseason on the horizon, the Packers would be wise to sit their stars and allow them to get healthy.

Injury Leads To Opportunity

With so many injuries to key players, Green Bay will be turning to some unfamiliar faces in Week 17. The decimated receiver and defensive back corps provide the opportunity for young players to showcase their talent. Green Bay will have a chance to evaluate theirs before heading into the offseason.


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Green Bay has a trio of receivers ready to step up in the absence of Nelson and Adams. Second-year receiver Geronimo Allison headlines the list. According to the Packers website, Allison has posted 238 yards on 21 catches this season. However, it is undrafted rookie Michael Clark who made the biggest splash last week. Clark recorded his first receptions in the NFL, posting three catches for 38 yards. Moreover, his six-foot-six frame brings a new meaning to the term catch radius. Lastly comes the second-year receiver out of Cal, Trevor Davis. Davis has shown himself to have elite speed throughout the year. While he has impressed many through his return game, it has not translated to the offense. Davis has posted just two receptions for 14 yards thus far. However, the grudge match against the Lions will provide him with an opportunity to show his versatility.

Defensive Backs

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Considering injuries to a few defensive backs, Green Bay will likely have to look down the depth chart for answers. First off, we will take a look at Josh Hawkins. The second-year corner has been sturdy for the Packers when healthy. He has defended six passes this season and added 33 tackles on top of that. Additionally, Hawkins has a forced fumble to his name. However, Lenzy Pipkins could also be a difference maker this weekend. Pipkins has not played much this season, Pro Football Focus graded him with a 71.5 in the little action he has had. While not demonstrating much in coverage, he has shown to be a sure tackler — at the very least.

Green Bay is set to miss the postseason for the first time since 2008. The Week 17 grudge match in Detroit will allow them to take a closer look at their roster. Packers faithful can only hope that the game will reveal the team’s next star player.

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