KICKOFF: Thursday, 12:30 ET
TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth, Pam Oliver
SERIES: This will be the 146th meeting of the Lions and Packers in a series that began when the Lions were still the Portsmouth Spartans in 1930. Green Bay has a 76-62-7 edge overall and has won the last six games against the Lions. The Lions hold a 10-5-1 edge in Thanksgiving Day games against the Packers.
2003 RANKINGS: Packers: offense 4th (1st rush, 25th pass); defense 21st (14th rush, 21st pass). Lions: offense 31st (32nd rush, 23rd pass); defense 18th (18th rush, 15th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME: Lions QB Joey Harrington will have to rebound quickly from Sunday's two INTs returned for touchdowns because Detroit will need a near-perfect performance from their second-year passer. The Lions can't afford to leave their defense on the field for too long, but controlling the clock will be difficult with the lowest-ranked run offense while Green Bay boast's the league's No. 1 rushing attack. The one thing Detroit's defense does have is big bodies in the middle, but the Packers are very adept at pulling and getting in front of RB Ahman Green. For the Lions to have a chance, they'll need to force Green to cough the ball up and take advantage of short fields.
FAST FACTS: Packers: The offense has averaged 233.8 rushing yards the past four games. ... The team is 6-1 when QB Brett Favre throws for under 200 yards. Lions: They are 10-5-1 against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day. ... The defense has allowed only two 100-yard rushers this season, with one being the Packers' Ahman Green (160 yards in Week 2).
PREDICTED SCORE: Packers 30, Lions 20
- DB Michael Hawthorne figures to get more playing time if S Darren Sharper (ribs) is unable to play, although Marques Anderson would get the start.
- DB Curtis Fuller figures to get more playing time if S Darren Sharper (ribs) is unable to play, although Marques Anderson would get the start.
- DT Kenny Peterson (knee sprain) probably won't play.
- T Marcus Spriggs (hamstring) is out.
- QB Brett Favre (broken thumb) took Monday off but was back working Tuesday. He's fine.
- WR Frank Rice has been added to the team's practice squad. Rice was released by Denver in the final roster cuts before the start of the season.
- WR Scottie Vines has been placed on the practice squad/injured category with a knee injury.
- WR Charles Rogers will miss his seventh consecutive game with a broken right collarbone suffered in a bye week practice. The soonest Rogers will play is Dec. 7 against San Diego but there is a possibility he might miss the rest of the season with the injury.
- CB Dre' Bly visited a massage therapist in St. Louis on Monday for treatment on his strained hamstring and, although he did not practice Monday or Tuesday, says he will be ready to play in the Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay. Bly has been the Lions? best defensive player this season.
- WR/KR Eddie Drummond is getting closer to returning from the ankle/knee injuries he suffered Sept. 21 against Minnesota. Drummond has begun running but has yet to regain the strength in his knee before he is ready to resume his punt and kick return duties.
- RB Artose Pinner was activated from reserve/non-football injury this week but the fourth-round draft pick is not expected to play in the Liions Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay. He is still not fully recovered from the broken left leg he suffered in the Senior Bowl last January.
- LB James Davis has been listed as out for the Lions' Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay. It will be the third consecutive game Davis has missed with a shoulder separation.
- LB Boss Bailey made it through the Lions' game Sunday at Minnesota despite an injured left shoulder and is expected to play in the Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay.
- DT Jared DeVries missed the Lions' Monday and Tuesday practices to rest a shoulder injury he suffered Sunday at Minnesota, but is expected to take his place in the defensive line rotation Thursday against Green Bay.
INSIDE THE CAMPS
The Packers could play the game without MLB Nick Barnett and S Darren Sharper, who are both questionable.
Barnett has an ankle injury, and would be replaced by third-year veteran Torrance Marshall if he is unable to play Thursday. "I'm just excited to play ... get out there and have fun on Thanksgiving," Marshall said. "Everybody's going to be watching. Marshall had three tackles after Barnett was injured Sunday.
"I thought he did OK (Sunday)," coach Mike Sherman said. "And with (practice)
reps, if he has to play this week, he'll get better." Sharper has injured rubs,
and would be replaced by second-year man Marques Anderson if he can't start
Thursday. Sharper has started every game this season and X-rays showed there are
no breaks, so there is a chance he could play.
Coach Steve Mariucci said WR David Kircus played 44 snaps in his pro debut Sunday, but didn't really get a lot of action.
"He didn't get a lot of throws at him," Mariucci said. "He had a slant at him. He had a fade in the end zone. He was blocking run routes, but he certainly got his feet wet. It was a good experience for a young guy to participate in a game like that. In fact, at halftime, Az (Hakim) came out and wasn't quite ready to play every snap so David played the 'X' and (Bill) Schroeder moved over to 'Z' and that's how we played our base offense for the second half so that's why David got so many snaps and then Az came in when we had three and four-wides."
The Lions are out of the playoff hunt and interested to see if Kircus, who attended Division II Grand Valley State, can play a role in their long terms plans.
Mariucci also sounded doubtful that RB Artose Pinner, who was activated from the injured list this week, will get any snaps Thursday.
"He is not listed as out or anything, but we haven't decided," Mariucci said.
"I don't know that he's physically ready to be productive anyway. He still gets
a little sore from practicing ... He'll get practice time, but to make him
active and put somebody down that is potentially playing 20 plays in the kicking
game or more than that on offense. You don't know if it's worth it with a short
week with limited amount of potential playing time. It's probably not the time