The loss of defensive tackle Johnny Jolly for at least the next two games because of a strained shoulder means Corey Williams and possibly starting end Cullen Jenkins will have to shoulder more of the load on the inside.
The Packers have the luxury of depth on the line, but not having Jolly in a primary role could impinge on what has been an effective rotation thus far. Jolly has been an early-down menace, alongside Ryan Pickett, producing 31 tackles and knocking down five passes.
Williams (six sacks) and Jenkins have been wreaking havoc as the replacement tackle tandem in passing situations. Williams now will be back in a starting role and taking on more work in the base defense.
The coaches will have to draw the line on how much to use Williams in early-down situations because of how vital he is to the pass defense. What's left in reserve, though, are Colin Cole and Justin Harrell, this year's first-round draft pick. Cole has been active for only two of the last six games, while Harrell is looking to be activated for the first time in the last five games, and only third time this season, after recovering from a sprained ankle.
-- RB Ryan Grant participated only in the jog-through at the start of practice Tuesday. The team, though, is optimistic that its featured back will play Thursday at Detroit after he suffered a sprained ankle late in the game Sunday.
-- FS Nick Collins has been ruled out for the game Thursday. Collins, who suffered a sprained knee Nov. 4 at Kansas City, was hoping to play this week. Rookie Aaron Rouse instead will make his third straight start.
-- TE Bubba Franks won't play for the fifth consecutive game. He has been out with a sprained knee and is gradually getting back into practice since last week.
-- CB Will Blackmon will remain sidelined because of a broken foot he sustained in practice in early October. He has missed the last six games.
-- LB Tracy White was held out of most of practice Tuesday as he tries to get over a nagging ankle injury that kept him out of the last game. White is tied for second on the team with 11 special-teams tackles.
-- OT Jonathan Scott will start at right tackle for the Lions, replacing the struggling George Foster. Scott missed the last two games with a broken thumb. But he returned to practice Tuesday morning, felt good and said he would start against the Packers. "Minor soreness," Scott said, rapping on the hard cast covering his left thumb and wrist, "but it's protected by this cast." Scott said his thumb hadn't completely healed but had reached the point where it could take contact. "It kind of gives me an advantage because it's kind of hard," Scott said, smiling and holding up his cast. "If somebody gets hit with it, I feel sorry for them."
-- Kicker Jason Hanson, who has been with the Lions since 1992, doesn't have a lot of fond memories of Thanksgiving, but he remembers one game when John Madden was the broadcaster. "I remember one year I made some field goals and had a tackle," Hanson said. "Madden was doing it, and they had the turkey leg. I was so excited. I thought, 'Man, I'm going to get the turkey leg.' They gave it to Johnnie Morton. And I felt like I'd been robbed. So I was sour. No, I'm kidding." -- DE Dewayne White, who has missed two games with a triceps injury, practiced fully Tuesday. It appears he will start against the Packers wearing a protective brace.
-- RB Kevin Jones, who has been managing a sore foot all season, appears ready to play against the Packers despite the shorter recovery time this week.
-- LB Teddy Lehman did not practice Tuesday because of a foot injury. But it is not related to the Lisfranc injury he struggled with earlier in his career, and coach Rod Marinelli said he might be ready for Thursday's game.
-- DE Ikaika Alama-Francis has not been practicing because of a hamstring injury. Alama-Francis was not expected to be active, anyway. The rookie has been inactive for eight of the Lions' 10 games this season.