One, perhaps overlooked, thing to watch for in each phase of the game as the Green Bay Packers prepare to take on the Detroit Lions in Week 17…
- Offense: How will the offensive line look? It appears as if Chad Clifton will play, which could alter the Packers’ personnel on the offensive line. When Clifton is in the game, will Marshall Newhouse shift over to right tackle? Will T.J. Lang move back to his natural left guard position? And will Evan Dietrich-Smith leave the game? There’s a lot of unanswered questions right now.
- Defense: Jarrett Bush at nickel cornerback. Charles Woodson figures to play very little on Sunday, perhaps even being named a game day inactive. And that means Bush will take over Woodson’s role as the slot cornerback for a majority of the game. Like it or not, Bush would play a major role in the Packers defense if Woodson, Tramon Williams or Sam Shields were ever to be injured in the playoffs. That makes the experience Bush will receive in today’s game invaluable.
- Special teams: Who will return kicks and punts? Randall Cobb has been ruled out of the New Year’s Day game. That leaves Tramon Williams and Jordy Nelson as the top alternatives to return punts and kicks, respectively. And it’s awfully risky to expose two key starters to potential injury in an essentially meaningless game. Williams can always fair catch the ball to avoid contact, but kick returners don’t really have that luxury. A less risky option could be running back Brandon Saine on kick returns.
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