T.J. Lang returned to practice and shared some of the walk-through reps with Don Barclay at right tackle during the portion of practice that was open to reporters on Friday.
Lang, who was knocked out of last week’s game with an injured ankle, is listed as questionable for the Green Bay Packers’ Sunday night game against Detroit.
Lang did “very little” at practice, according to Mike McCarthy, though even that was a surprise to the coach, who didn’t expect Lang to participate at all. McCarthy said the team has planned all week for Barclay to make his first professional start.
Five players were ruled out, including Charles Woodson for a sixth consecutive game due to a broken collarbone, Clay Matthews for a fourth consecutive game with an injured hamstring and receiver Jordy Nelson, who injured his hamstring last week against Minnesota.
Nelson had little to say, other than saying the injury was a “pull.” He would not say whether he anticipated being ready for next week’s division showdown against Chicago.
Of note, defensive end Mike Neal was listed as doubtful because of a shoulder injury. While he almost certainly will not play, that he wasn’t ruled out was a positive sign because the team feared worse results from tests conducted by the medical staff.
“Well, the news was good news, based on what your fear,” McCarthy said. “But he’s not doing very well today as far as testing. We’re going to give both T.J. and Mike Neal every chance to play in the game. We’ll probably know more tomorrow and, obviously, we’ll have to react to that tomorrow to make the roster move if needed.”
Packers injury report
Out: OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring); RB James Starks (knee); DE C.J. Wilson (knee); DB Charles Woodson (collarbone). Doubtful: DE Mike Neal (shoulder). Questionable: G/T T.J. Lang (ankle); LB Terrell Manning (shoulder). Probable: WR Donald Driver (thumb); C Jeff Saturday (foot); CB Sam Shields (ankle).
Lions injury report
Questionable: T Jeff Backus (hamstring); S Louis Delmas (knee); DT Nick Fairley (quad); CB Chris Houston (ankle); CB Jacob Lacey (foot/Achilles); DT Corey Williams (knee). Probable: T Gosder Cherilus (knees); DE Lawrence Jackson (concussion); WR Kassim Osgood (finger); LB Ashlee Palmer (thumb).
Williams didn't practice all week. Delmas didn't practice on Friday but played on third down and in the red zone the last two weeks.
-- It’s early, but the forecast is for 3 to 6 inches of snow on Sunday. Whether that materializes, or if it comes before or during the game, remains to be seen. “Well, we live in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so snow’s going to happen,” McCarthy said. “I hope it does snow. I think it’d be great. It’s a great setting. Personally, I think snow’s fun to play in, so I think our players will enjoy it.
-- The Packers might make a roster move on Saturday, depending on the health of the offensive and defensive lines. Jordan Miller, a first-year player who spent most of last year on the Bears’ practice squad, is the most likely possibility due to there being only four healthy defensive linemen. “Jordan’s a good football player,” defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said.
-- The focus is the long run with Matthews and Woodson. “We’re getting close,” McCarthy said when asked specifically about Matthews. “He feels good about it. But I think it’s very important for Clay, no different with Charles, that when we do bring those guys back it’s not potentially just a one-week situation.”
-- Defensive coordinator Dom Capers disagreed with the notion the Lions are a dirty team. “No,” he said flatly. “Hey, it’s an aggressive game out there. I don’t think we’re a dirty team and you’ve seen the flag come out and our guys be fined. I know what we coach and I don’t think we’re a dirty team. Some people might look at it and say, ‘Well, geez, those guys …’ Nick Perry’s hit on the quarterback and Dezman Moses on the receiver, to me, some of those things are going to get called. It’s a fast game. It’s a fast game sometimes and it’s hard to calculate. Jerron McMillian, OK, he went down for the body and he was playing aggressively. I haven’t seen it where guys are basically just trying to go head to head.”
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