The Detroit Lions Week 2 opponent, the Green Bay Packers, have declared their injury designations ahead of their contest on “Monday Night Football” and they could be without two starters, one on each side of the ball.
Za’Darius Smith placed on IR
On Friday afternoon, Packers coach Matt LaFleur notified the media that pass rusher Za’Darius Smith would be placed on injured reserve and unavailable for this week’s game against the Lions. This is a big break for the Lions as Smith has feasted on the Lions since joining the Packers in 2019.
Taking over for Smith will likely be former Michigan Wolverine, and 2019 first-round pick Rashan Gary. Last week, Gary notched two hurries, two quarterback hits, but zero tackles on 37 snaps.
“I think hurts them a little bit,” Lions’ coach Dan Campbell said of Smith missing this game. “He is an outstanding rusher. He’s a good run player as well. So, I think it hurts them. Now that being said, they still got 52 over there, Gary, who I think can rush. They got a couple of guys that I think – now, they’re different than him, but they still have the element of rush and those guys play hard. And so yes it hurts, but yet it’s not like these guys that are coming in are five notches below Za’Darius either in my opinion.”
The Packers will rotate sides with their edge rushers, which means Gary and Preston Smith will likely get close to equal time against the Lions’ Penei Sewell and Matt Nelson.
- S Vernon Scott (hamstring)
Soft tissue injuries are finicky and despite seeing limited practices every day this week, Scott was not healthy enough to be cleared for Monday’s game.
- TE Joseph Deguara (concussion)
Deguara was not able to practice this week making it nearly impossible to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol by Monday night. Deguara is the Packers’ third tight end and will likely be replaced by Dafney Dominique if they opt to keep three available.
- G Lucas Patrick (concussion)
- S Darnell Savage (shoulder)
Patrick, the Packers’ starting left guard, is also dealing with a concussion, but unlike Deguara, he was able to get in a limited practice on Saturday. Per the NFL’s five-step concussion protocol rules, he still has a few more hurdles to overcome if he is to be cleared ahead of Monday’s game including, passing a simulated contact activity and being cleared by a doctor outside the organization.
If Patrick can not pass those requirements and needs to be replaced, it will likely be by former Wolverine Jon Runyan. Last season, Runyan spent the majority of his 136 snaps at left guard but struggled, especially against interior pass rushers.
Savage saw limited practices all week and seems more likely to suit up, but the questionable label leaves some room for ambiguity. The 2019 first-round pick is an important member of the Packers’ secondary, and with Scott already ruled out, they’ll need Savage available or they’ll be down to two safeties. If he does play, he could see time matched up against the Lions’ T.J. Hockenson, which is a difficult draw on its own, much less with a banged-up shoulder.
No injury designation
- C Josh Myers (finger)
- DL Tyler Lancaster (back/ankle)
Myers was drafted in the second round of this past draft and has taken over the starting duties at center, after All-Pro Corey Linsley departed in free agency. The former Ohio State product is dealing with a finger injury, and while he has been able to practice all week, he’ll have his hands full (pun intended) with Lions’ rookie nose tackle Alim McNeill.