The final matchup of the 2021-22 Detroit Lions season is upon us and it’s up in the air what that game will look like.
In just under a week the Lions will face their final opponent, the Green Bay Packers. Despite clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC and therefore having nothing tangible left to play for, quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he’s still planning to suit up against Detroit.
Per NFL.com’s Kevin Patra, after bulldozing the Minnesota Vikings and securing that top spot in the NFC, Rodgers told reporters he’s expecting to play — even while dealing with a fractured pinky toe. He also thinks other stars on the team are going to play, too.
“There was definitely a time a few weeks ago when we started to project and think if we could get the one seed, it could be two-plus weeks of rest, but I’m going to play next week and I expect Davante (Adams) to play and our guys to play, so we’re looking forward to finishing off the season on a high note and then getting the bye,” Rodgers said, via the team’s official transcript, acquired by Patra.
Adam echoed Rodgers’ statement, too:
Davante Adams says he believes #Packers stars, including him and Aaron Rodgers, should play next week in Detroit to stay sharp before playoffs.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) January 3, 2022
If the Packers were to sit Rodgers and other starters, the players would have until Jan. 22 or Jan. 23 to rest up, when the Divisional Round starts. That would also reduce chances of injury … But that could lead to some rust. As of Sunday night, Rodgers told reporters they’re planning on finishing out strong.
Per Patra, coach Matt LaFleur said they’re playing it by ear. They’ll have some conversations between staff and players, then make a firm decision.
“But if you ask me right now, I’d say my gut is that these guys are going to play at least a little bit next week,” he said.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- In his latest piece, The Athletic’s Chris Burke puts into words what many of us are feeling — this season has been downright entertaining because it’s obvious the Lions are rebuilding. As he puts it, it’s a “pressure-free, ‘give it your best’ universe.” But as he points out, that’s coming to an end as the offseason approaches. ($)
- Two facts for you, one also from Burke:
Amon-Ra St. Brown needs 15 yards next Sunday to set the Lions’ rookie receiving record, currently held by Roy Williams.*
(*St. Brown will have played 17 games; Williams played 14 in 2004.)
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) January 3, 2022
There have been 9 successful onside kick recoveries this year.
The #Lions have 3 of them.
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) January 3, 2022
- Former Lion Quandre Diggs, who was traded to the Seahawks in October of 2019, had a chance to chat with some old friends:
Super dope day! Got a big win and got to see a lot of people who I didn’t get to formally say goodbye to before I left.. former teammates, coaches, trainers, equiptment staff, media relations I love y’all! Detroit will always hold a special place in my heart!
— Nino (@qdiggs6) January 3, 2022
- Lots of reunions!
- TD stands for Taylor Decker. This isn’t new, I just want you to relive the big man touchdown. The Lions say he’s the first offensive linemen in Lions history with multiple TD catches in a career.