The Green Bay Packers have officially released their injury report for this week’s Thanksgiving matchup against the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, Aaron Rodgers will miss another week with a fractured collarbone. This was to be expected though.
Rodgers practiced in a limited fashion this week and appears to have a good chance of returning the first week of December when the Packers host the Atlanta Falcons on the 8th.
The good news is that the Packers will get back some key starters for Thursday’s game in Detroit. Sam Shields (hamstring), Johnny Jolly (groin), Nick Perry (ankle/foot), and Don Barclay (knee) are all listed as ‘probable’ after sitting out last week against Minnesota. All, but Jolly, have missed at least the last two games because of injury.
The Packers secondary has struggled without Shields in the lineup. He’s the team’s best cover corner. Tramon Williams has played admirably in Shields’ absence, but Green Bay will need both players playing at a high level to stop Calvin Johnson and the Detroit passing attack.
Both Jolly and Perry could help bolster a Green Bay front seven that has struggled to stop the run the past several weeks. Minnesota recorded 232 rushing yards against Green Bay on Sunday, and this is just can’t happen if the Packers expect to win games and make a run for the playoffs.
Jolly has played an integral role this year in turning around the Packers run defense. His return should help the Packers defensive line close the running lanes against Detroit.
One of Perry’s strengths is holding the edge against the run, so his return could go a long way in getting the Packers run defense back on track. Plus, Perry will serve well as an additional pass rusher that can rotate in with Clay Matthews and Mike Neal at outside linebacker.
Barclay’s return could mean a lot for the Packers offense on Thursday. Reserve right tackle Marshall Newhouse has struggled in pass protection while filling in for Barclay the past three games. He’s given up way too many pressures, and he could have his hands full this week against athletic Detroit defensive end Ziggy Ansah.
Luckily, it appears Barclay should return and hold down the right tackle position Thursday. Barclay is also a better and more physical run blocker than Newhouse. Overall, Barclay’s return is big news for a Packers offense that needs to put together a solid performance in Detroit on Thursday.
In other Packers injury news, both Neal (abdomen) and Josh Sitton (back) have been dealing with some bumps and bruises, but they should be ready to go against Detroit.
In addition to Rodgers, C.J. Wilson (ankle), Jonathan Franklin (concussion), and Jamari Lattimore (quadricep) have been ruled out. Packers tight end Brandon Bostick is listed as “questionable” after suffering a concussion Sunday against Minnesota.