Notebook: Another Lions Starting QB

With Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill injured, former Michigan State star Drew Stanton will get the call on Sunday. Plus, Chad Clifton has a concussion and much more from a busy Wednesday.

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz is preparing for his fourth career matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

And he'll have a fourth quarterback under center.

Due to constant injury problems that have hamstrung the early career of would-be franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Packers faced Daunte Culpepper and Stafford last season and Shaun Hill in the Week 4 game at Lambeau Field. With Stafford hurt again and with Hill out with a broken index finger on his throwing hand, Drew Stanton will get the call on Sunday at Ford Field.

Stanton, an athletic second-round pick in 2006 out of Michigan State, made his first start of the season --- and second of his career -- last week against Chicago. In Week 6 of last season, Stanton completed 5-of-11 passes for 57 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions after Culpepper went down in the second half of the Packers' 26-0 romp at Lambeau Field.

"The offense hasn't changed a whole lot," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, comparing the Lions' offense and their revolving-door quarterbacks. "I thought he did a nice job of running the offense against Chicago. He's an athlete. Liked him coming out. I think he's a young man that will improve with opportunity. He's never been really given the ball over an extended period of time. They're still a potent offense. They challenge you schematically with Drew playing quarterback."

Against the Bears last week, he completed 16-of-24 passes for 178 yards, with one touchdown pass, one touchdown rushing, no turnovers and a passer rating of 102.4.

"We executed the game plan kind of how we wanted to," Stanton said during a conference call with Packers beat reporters. "Obviously, would've liked to make one or two plays that would've made a difference in the outcome of the game. But we did a lot of good things and we were patient and efficient as an offense and were able to get the ball out and get it in our playmakers hands, run effectively and we were pretty efficient on third down, as well."

Clifton iffy with concussion

Left tackle Chad Clifton was limited, as usual, at practice but this time he was slowed in part by a concussion sustained on Sunday.

Clifton, who is a full participant only at Thursday's practices as the training staff attempts to nurse his ailing knees through an 11th NFL season, felt fine on Sunday but symptoms began to show up on Monday, according to McCarthy.

If Clifton isn't cleared for the game, T.J. Lang would be the starter rather than moving rookie Bryan Bulaga from right to left and inserting Lang on the right side. Lang failed to challenge Mark Tauscher for the starting job at right tackle during training camp because he missed all of the offseason workouts after wrist surgery.

"It's been feeling good for awhile now," said Lang, who started two games at left tackle as a rookie last year. "Obviously, it hindered me in training camp. It's never easy to miss a whole offseason and come back and jump right back into things. So, it took me a little while. But I feel good. I've been taking reps at left tackle, right tackle and just preparing each week as if I'm going to play and see what happens from there."

Packers injury report

Out: FB Korey Hall (knee); DE Cullen Jenkins (calf). Did not participate: S Atari Bigby (hamstring); CB Pat Lee (ankle); S Anthony Smith (ankle). Limited participation: T Chad Clifton (knees, concussion); S Nick Collins (shoulder); LB Clay Matthews (shin); DE Ryan Pickett (ankle); CB Charles Woodson (toe, ankle). Full participation: WR Donald Driver (hand); WR Brett Swain (knee).

Woodson sprained an ankle during the screens-and-deception period early in practice. McCarthy did not have an update.

Lions injury report

Did not participate: RB Jahvid Best (toe); LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (knee); QB Shaun Hill (right finger); QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder); DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck). Limited participation: DE Cliff Avril (quad); WR Calvin Johnson (groin); LB DeAndre Levy (groin); WR Derrick Williams (ankle). Full participation: WR Nate Burleson (hamstring); T Gosder Cherilus (knee).

The Lions put Vanden Bosch on injured reserve for an injury that was sustained on Thanksgiving against New England. Vanden Bosch, with four sacks on the season, had surgery on Wednesday to repair a bulging disk.

"He's played outstanding football this year," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said in a conference call with Packers beat reporters on Wednesday. "His stats really don't show it but offensive coordinators, he sees more chips and double teams and tight ends and things like that than most other players in the NFL. He's played some really good games – maybe some of the best games that he's played in his career this year."

Four-point stance

-- Aaron Rodgers was named NFC offensive player of the week after completing 21-of-30 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns against San Francisco. He's also up for the FedEx Air award, which is open for voting at NFL.com/FedEx.

-- McCarthy sees no reason why his team will look past the Lions, who are 2-10: "It's a division game, and these are always the toughest games. These are always the toughest games on the road, and that's our viewpoint. We don't need to look at their record. They came into Lambeau a few weeks back and played very well against us, the best they've played against us in some time. We stay true to the tape. We need to go to Detroit and play our best game."

-- Receiver Greg Jennings grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich., and played at Western Michigan. "Oh, it's always special to go home. You get to play against the Detroit Lions. Obviously, I grew up watching those guys. Play in front of my family. My mom is pretty much from that area, so I've got a lot of family up there and am looking forward to seeing some of those guys."

-- McCarthy is 9-0 against Detroit and the Packers have won 10 straight in the series and are 18-2 in their last 20 games against the Lions. The only longer current winning streak is New England's 14-game run over Buffalo.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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