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Morgan Burnett’s return to slot corner with Kevin King out and what it could mean moving forward

Dr. Seuss would be proud of the Packers defense.

Dom Capers plays so many fronts, mixes and matches so many combinations of secondary players and linebackers, he’s run out of names for all of them.

The days of “nickel” and “dime” are long gone. We’re into “NASCAR” and “Nitro” with elephant ends and safeties playing linebacker or corner.

Up is down. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria.

either are the other two) is a credit to Morgan Burnett.,The fact that the last part isn’t actually true (Ok

On Sunday he played just about every position a player can play: free safety, box safety, slot corner, linebacker, and even a little on the edge albeit as a disguise. I kept waiting for Capers to line him up next to Kenny Clark and ask him to take on a pulling guard in the hole.

Playing 100% of snaps, Burnett spent 26 of them at safety, and another 16 playing his Nitro linebacker spot., 28 in the slot playing corner>womens Dwayne Allen Jersey

With Kevin King dealing with an injury, Capers opted to play House and Randall almost exclusively on the boundary — Hawkins got in the game temporarily thanks to injuries to each starting corner at different times — with Burnett in the nickel corner role., rather than sliding Josh Hawkins into the starting lineup outside

Tampa Bay plays mostly from two receiver sets,Authentic Jay Ajayi Jersey even running their 4-3 look with Clay Matthews off the ball more than a dozen times., often opting for two tight ends. That allowed the Packers to spend much of the game in a more traditional base personnel on defense

just a redux of an old one; Capers had Burnett play the slot against the Bengals and he was outstanding.,Authentic Ryan Tannehill Jersey,Having Burnett in the slot isn’t actually a new development

The difference this time was they went to some of what I’ll call ultra-Nitro where instead of bringing in Josh Hawkins,<,Capers played Josh Jones at safety, and brought in Jermaine Whitehead to play the other safety position.,womens Rob Gronkowski Jersey,, Morgan Burnett in the slot

With Jones playing nearly 80% of snaps,that meant spending most of them at safety (43 out of his 50 snaps). In fact, That strategy paid off and neither DeSean Jackson nor Mike Evans created much of anything down the field.,womens Brandin Cooks Jersey, they was almost exclusively covering the deep half as the Packers consistently kept two deep safeties to protect against big plays

In fact, or came off dump offs and underneath throws., most of the success the Buccaneers offense had passing was either schemed up as screensAuthentic Julius Thomas Jersey,

Setting aside the snaps for Whitehead, the idea of playing Burnett in the slot makes sense., who has apparently crept past Marwin Evans on the safety depth chartwomens Julius Thomas Jersey

or negative (which is another way of saying Burnett may truly be better) when you add in Burnett’s strengths as a tackler compared to Randall.,He’s either the best or second best slot corner on the team as Damarious Randall has excelled since his benching early in the season. The drop off from Randall to Burnett is either negligible

On the other hand, at the very least in terms of proven capabilities., the drop off from Randall to Hawkins on the boundary is considerable

Capers decided to put his best cover players on the field and see what happened.,In short

Aside from the deployment of Jermaine Whitehead in man coverage against Cameron Brate, Davon House and Randall combined to hold Evans and Jackson to just 57 yards on four catches and the Packers pass rush took care of the rest., this idea worked. Burnett even covered Mike Evans effectively in the slot. Burnett

of course,The downside, is the Whitehead snaps can’t just be explained away. If Burnett is in the slot, then someone has to play his safety position. If that’s Josh Jones, but with Capers insisting on playing two deep safeties, Green Bay is in good shape in coverage against tight ends and backs, he (rightly) decided to put the one he trusts more in the back end next to Haha Clinton-Dix.

that creates a situation where Josh Jones’ cover skills and playmaking in the box can’t be utilized to their fullest capacity.,Unfortunately

this strategy stymied the Buccaneers for much of the day.,And after the opening possession in which Winston picked on Whitehead for two third-down conversions including the 28-yard touchdown to Brate.womens Ryan Tannehill Jersey,

Capers forced Jameis to hold the ball, plus the fumble Dean Lowry housed., leading to seven Packers sacks and 13 quarterback hitswomens Jay Ajayi Jersey,

it’s 230 net passing yards and suddenly an 8.5 YPA average plummets under 6 (the seven attempts where he’s sacked also count).,The final passing numbers suggest Winston had a very good day: 21/32 270 yards 2 TDs 0 INTs. Except when you account for sackswomens Julian Edelman Jersey>

this could have been one of Green Bay’s best defensive performances of the season.,<Authentic Kenny Stills JerseyIf not for a Packers offense that couldn’t move the ball in the second half until the waining minutes

Even with those struggles, the Packers defense gave up just 10 second-half points with that touchdown coming mid-way through the fourth quarter' t>Authentic Julian Edelman Jersey<,' ' and the Buccaneers possessing the ball almost literally the entire third quarter

This strategy was effective.Authentic Tom Brady Jersey,

And there could potentially be a home for it moving forward as well even with Kevin King healthy.Authentic Rob Gronkowski Jersey,

the Packers defense could become more like a Seattle team that doesn’t have to go to nickel personnel as often because its linebackers and safeties are so good in coverage. That means better run fits and bigger bodies near the line of scrimmage.,In other words

except he kept four at the line of scrimmage and his two traditional linebackers on the field as well.,Authentic Brandin Cooks Jersey,Capers went to a similar package against the Steelers only it was Randall in the slot with Jones on the bench. This wouldn’t be that abnormal

It’s as close to a traditional front as Capers likes to get.womens Kenny Stills Jersey,

Against a versatile team like the Steelers, which substitutes Jones for Randall if for no other reason than Green Bay doesn’t need the extra corner to cover tight ends.womens Tom Brady Jersey,'' it would have made more sense (to this writer anyway) to play the above group

That’s literally why they drafted Jones.>Authentic Dwayne Allen Jersey,

Instead of using him to replace a player like Jake Ryan, who has played extremely well this season, with Burnett in the slot they can have their cake and eat it too., or taking a defensive linemen off the field to get Jones on it

This week, with a Browns team with very similar weapons (a big, a speedy receiver opposite, fast outside receiver, and a athletic pass-catching tight end) Capers could again take advantage of Morgan Burnett’s versatility.

but potentially good news for the Packers defense.,It’s bad news for Josh Hawkins’ playing time
Ty Montgomery is very open about his faith — his Twitter timeline is filled with Biblical references — but the Green Bay Packers running back’s prayers lately hadn’t been to get healthy after the latest in myriad injuries this season.Authentic Michael Thomas Jersey,

Montgomery — having missed last week’s loss to Baltimore after aggravating a rib injury at Chicago on Nov. 12 — merely asked for perspective. And now that he has it,>womens Drew Brees Jersey,Rather,Authentic Trey Hendrickson Jersey, he’s hoping being in a better place spiritually leads to him being back on the field physically.

I know what I can do,>womens Adrian Peterson JerseyWhy this,Authentic Cam Fowler jersey, why that. I know what I’m capable of,, I’ve done it. It’s just unfortunate circumstances throughout the season,“I’m not about to have a ‘poor-me’ mentality — why me,” Montgomery said as the Packers prepped for Sunday night’s game at Pittsburgh. “I know I’m a talented individual.

“It’s all about perspective. This is a blip on the radar. Once this storm is over,adidas Ryan Getzlaf jersey there’s going to be some daylight. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

Montgomery shifted from wide receiver to running back full-time last season when injuries befell starter Eddie Lacy (ankle) and veteran backup James Starks (concussion) and went on to lead the team in rushing. Having seen the injury bug infect the running backs room last season, Montgomery said he understands it comes with the position — something that’s been proven again this year.adidas Corey Perry jersey>

where Jones had the team’s first 100-yard rushing game of the season. When Montgomery returned to the lineup, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays before suffering multiple broken ribs against Chicago on Sept. 28. He missed the following week’s game at Dallas,Montgomery was the Packers’ opening-day starter ahead of rookies Jamaal Williams, he was behind Jones on the depth chart.womens Michael Thomas Jersey

Montgomery broke a 37-yard touchdown run and had six carries for 54 yards — until reinjuring his ribs and opening the door for Williams, Jones suffered a knee injury that sidelined him against the Ravens and is expected to keep him out several more weeks. Back as the lead back,In the rematch with the Bears at Soldier Field two weeks ago, who ran for 67 yards as the Packers salted away their only victory since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone at Minnesota on Oct. 15.'womens Trey Hendrickson Jersey

who said he was still wearing additional protection for his ribs but reinjured them when two Bears defensive linemen unintentionally landed on top of him in the same spot,Montgomery,womens Stephon Gilmore Jersey,' ,did not participate in practice Wednesday and appears unlikely to play against the Steelers.

we get everybody back (up front), then I get injured,” Montgomery said when asked to assess his season. “I feel like,Authentic Adrian Peterson Jersey,' I feel like I’m rolling and I get injured. Aaron does his job,“(It was a) whole ordeal with the offensive line missing at the beginning of the season and we’re playing top defenses, so why wouldn’t you play him? I want to win football games. I don’t care how we win football games. And then he ends up going down in the same game I go down in and then what I went through last year is exactly what happened to Jamaal – you lose both backs in the same game and now he’s got to step up.”

“It’s all about perspective. This is a blip on the radar. Once this storm is over, there’s going to be some daylight. That’s how I’m looking at it.”womens Alex Anzalone Jersey,'

Montgomery shifted from wide receiver to running back full-time last season when injuries befell starter Eddie Lacy (ankle) and veteran backup James Starks (concussion) and went on to lead the team in rushing. Having seen the injury bug infect the running backs room last season, Montgomery said he understands it comes with the position — something that’s been proven again this year.Authentic Corey Perry jersey

where Jones had the team’s first 100-yard rushing game of the season. When Montgomery returned to the lineup, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays before suffering multiple broken ribs against Chicago on Sept. 28. He missed the following week’s game at Dallas,Montgomery was the Packers’ opening-day starter ahead of rookies Jamaal Williams, he was behind Jones on the depth chart.adidas Cam Fowler jersey,

Montgomery broke a 37-yard touchdown run and had six carries for 54 yards — until reinjuring his ribs and opening the door for Williams,Authentic adidas Ryan Getzlaf jersey Jones suffered a knee injury that sidelined him against the Ravens and is expected to keep him out several more weeks. Back as the lead back,In the rematch with the Bears at Soldier Field two weeks ago, who ran for 67 yards as the Packers salted away their only victory since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone at Minnesota on Oct. 15.,Authentic Drew Brees Jersey,

who said he was still wearing additional protection for his ribs but reinjured them when two Bears defensive linemen unintentionally landed on top of him in the same spot,MontgomeryAuthentic Stephon Gilmore Jersey' ''Authentic Alex Anzalone Jersey did not participate in practice Wednesday and appears unlikely to play against the Steelers.
2016, just when his game was starting to measure up to NFL standards,On Nov. 20, Green Bay Packers cornerback Demetri Goodson wrecked his left knee against Washington at FedEx Field.

Goodson ruptured his ACL, ripped his MCL, tore the meniscus and dislocated his knee cap when Washington linebacker Terence Garvin slammed into his leg during a punt return.

The gruesome injury led Goodson on a path of recovery that he could only hope one day would end the way it is expected to end Sunday: with the fourth-year pro in uniform playing in a regular-season game.

” Goodson said Thursday. “It’s all God. It’s pretty amazing. It really is.”,“It’s unbelievable that I came back from that,womens Matthew Stafford Jersey and playing the way I’m playing at practice right now, and I’m about to play

but barring any changes he should be activated this weekend.,womens Marvin Jones Jr Jersey,Goodson has been practicing with the defense this week and said he was told he would be activated off the physically unable to perform list in time to play Sunday against Tampa Bay. The three-week window during which Goodson could practice without a roster move having to be made ends next week

Where and how he’ll be used is still up in the air.Authentic Jordy Nelson Jersey,

“One thing about Demetri is he was one of our very best special teams players,womens Darius Slay Jr Jersey and there’s normally a correlation between that and defense,” defensive coordinator Dom

Capers said. “I think it’s hard to be a good defensive player if you can’t be a good special teams player.

very competitive. All those things. He’s going through the steps now of trying to work his way back into things. We’ll have to decide where he is in terms of making that step to come back.”,
Authentic Aaron Rodgers Jersey“(He’s) very tough

they probably would take whatever help they can get. But apparently Goodson has turned some heads in the short time he’s been back.,Given the state of the Packers’ cornerback position

He said he even surprised himself how well he played right away.Authentic Darius Slay Jr Jersey

just getting out there and practicing again.,“From the first practice, I was out there making plays, Goodson said. “I meanwomens J.J. Watt Jersey, it kind of shocked me because my knee felt a lot better than I thought it would

you looking good.’”,“Kind of shocked the coaches,Authentic J.J. Watt Jersey, ‘Damn, too. A couple of them came up to me and said

When he got hurt, Goodson was one of the team’s best special-teams players, and having him and Jeff Janis as gunners on the punt team was the main reason the Packers ranked sixth in net punting average last season.womens Randall Cobb Jersey,”

Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins all were injured.,Goodson never had been a defensive regular going into last season, he was thrust into the starting lineup when Sam Shields, but after serving a four-game suspension for violating the performance-enhancing drug policyAuthentic Marvin Jones Jr Jersey

There were hiccups in Goodson’s game—he gave up a 47-yard touchdown against Atlanta and a 25-yard reception against Chicago—but he played solidly and continued to get snaps on defense even when Rollins returned.,womens Jordy Nelson Jersey,

Goodson returned to the practice field Nov. 15 and this week began practicing with the regulars. He said everything has gone smoothly and he has not suffered any pain or swelling in the knee.,After nearly a year of rehab and training

he will play on special teams.,>>,Given the 5-foot-11, 197-pound Goodson hasn’t played a game in a year, the Packers aren’t going to rush him onto defense,,' Authentic Bart Starr Jersey,''but if they put him on the 46-man game-day roster

“I’m ready to gowomens Bart Starr Jersey” Goodson said. “I’m looking forward to it,especially on special teams. Go out there and help. Wherever they put me at.

“I’m ready for cornerback, tooAuthentic Randall Cobb Jersey.'but I feel like I have to work my way in a little bit more with that. You just can’t go out there my first game and start at corner. I’m feeling good and I’m feeling confident about everything.”

The Packers will continue to monitor rookie cornerback Kevin King’s shoulder injury, which caused him to miss the Baltimore game and part of the Pittsburgh game Sunday. King has not practiced this week and if he doesn’t practice Saturday,womens Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey, it’s unlikely he’ll play against the Buccaneers.

Davon House and Randall are the Packers’ top three cornerbacks. Second-year pro Josh Hawkins is next in line and then come rookies Lenzy Pipkins and Donatello Brown.,King Authentic Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey

Goodson could step into a role on defense. He has 294 regular-season snaps at cornerback and said he picked up a lot of things watching from the sideline the past year.,If King has to be shut down for the season or someone else gets injured or plays poorlywomens Aaron Rodgers Jersey

I can get through anything. It’s been a long road.”,“Truthfully,” Goodson said. “I feel like if I can get through this, coming back from this has just made me stronger physically and mentally Authentic Matthew Stafford Jersey

An overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept the Green Bay Packers in the NFC playoff race.,Authentic Markus Wheatont Jersey

But coach Mike McCarthy knows that star quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ first full week of practice since breaking his collarbone won’t mean anything if his team loses at winless Cleveland on Sunday. 'Authentic Travis Frederick Jersey,

”We need to win the game. We’re 6-6. We need to have seven wins when we get on that plane coming back from Cleveland,womens Dak Prescott Jersey,” McCarthy said Monday. ”Nothing else matters.”

And that includes the fact that Rodgers will be out on the practice field starting Wednesday, after doing some throwing at practice on Saturday.' Authentic Zack Martin Jersey,

offensively,womens Travis Frederick JerseyWe’re excited Aaron’s out there. It was big for him to be out there Saturday, at the end of the day,” McCarthy said. ”Being on the practice field, that was a very good thing for what we accomplished. This week will be another step for him. But, we need to do some things better than we did (against Tampa Bay). Clearly.”

The 26-20 win in overtime was just the second for Green Bay since Rodgers broke his collarbone on Oct. 15 at Minnesota.

a blocked punt by linebacker Kyler Fackrell and a running game that gained 199 yards.,His replacement, Brett Hundley, threw for just 84 yards against the Buccaneers. The Packers won because of a fumble return for a touchdown by defensive end Dean Lowry,'Authentic Tyron Smith Jersey,

Hundley contributed to the ground game with 66 yards rushing, including 32 on read-option keepers, but he completed only 13 of 22 passes and threw his eighth interception of the season.womens Tyron Smith Jersey

Jamaal Williams rushed 21 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, while fellow rookie running back Aaron Jones’ lone carry was a 20-yard touchdown run in overtime.womens Markus Wheatont Jersey,

Hundley did lead a 70-yard, game-tying field-goal drive in the fourth quarter and the 72-yard game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.womens Jason Witten Jersey,

especially at the critical times. At the most important time of the game,”We’ve got to get the passing game clicking. We’ve got some things we’ve definitely got to clean up,” McCarthy said. ”Brett did some really good things,<particularly in the drop-back (game). I didn’t like what we got out of the (play-action) game, either,Authentic Jeff Driskel Jersey, he played his best football. That says a lot about him.”

The Packers are hoping Rodgers can have a productive week of practice, shake off the rust while working on the scout-team offense and be ready for the team’s Dec. 17 game at Carolina.womens Nolan CarrollJersey,

which had two plates affixed to it with 13 screws in an Oct. 19 surgery, >he’ll have to undergo a series of medical tests and scans to see if the collarbone, though,womens Zack Martin Jerseyhas sufficiently healed.

If not, he won’t be medically cleared to play against the Panthers. McCarthy said Rodgers would be in a ”trial return” group that limits those players’ snaps in practice.'Authentic Jason Witten Jersey<

later adding: ”He’s not cut loose to go full practice where he’s able to do everything. … The medical clearance will not be an option until next week.”,”Once you are medically cleared, then you are full for practice. So he will be `trial return’ this week,” McCarthy said'womens Jeff Driskel Jersey

according to some of his teammates who saw him throwing during drills.,Still, even with limited reps, Rodgers’ presence at Saturday’s practice had an effect on the team>Authentic Dak Prescott Jersey,

”He was throwing just as high,” said linebacker Clay Matthews, I don’t know what his scans say, I’m not the head coachAuthentic Connor Shaw Jersey, if not higher than what you saw in Detroit a couple years ago. I don’t know, but he looks good,womens Connor Shaw Jersey, referring to Rodgers’ desperation touchdown pass to beat the Lions in 2015.

”Obviously, Aaron’s the guy in Green Bay. I meanAuthentic Nolan CarrollJersey,' there’s no doubt about it.”
The big plays the Packers were missing a week ago against Baltimore were in full effect from the opening whistle Sunday at Heinz Field.

Quarterback Brett Hundley used his full array of offensive weapons to its fullest in the most explosive showing Green Bay’s offense has put together since Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone last month in Minnesota.

It was nearly enough to topple the Pittsburgh Steelers on their home turf at Heinz Field.

Davante Adams (55 yards), Randall Cobb (39 yards) and Jamaal Williams (54 yards) each were on the receiving end of lengthy touchdown throws from Hundley, who fashioned a 134.3 passer rating without a turnover.

While Green Bay ultimately fell 31-28 on the heels of Chris Boswell’s game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired, the Packers’ offense showed the cohesiveness they’d been hinting at prior to last Sunday’s 23-0 loss to the Ravens at Lambeau Field.,womens Rayshawn Jenkins Jersey,

“Being a competitor, you know, it’s going to hurt, you’re going to feel it a little bit,” said Adams, especially when it’s this type of loss, finish strong.”, who led the Packers with five catches for 82 yards. “It was a close game,Authentic Mike Williams Jersey it came down to the wire and it hurts when you don’t finish it off. But I think this team can rally together and

59-yard drive.,For the fifth straight weekAuthentic Forrest Lamp Jerseythe Packers moved the ball on their opening series prior to a Pittsburgh blown coverage opening up the sideline for Cobb’s second touchdown reception of the season, capping a 12-play

Green Bay turned the early momentum into another touchdown-producing series on its second possession when center Corey Linsley helped spring Williams for a 54-yard touchdown off a screen pass to give the Packers a 14-6 lead.Authentic Dan Feeney Jersey,

Without Aaron Jones (knee) and Ty Montgomery (ribs) for the second straight game,Williams again handled a bulk of the backfield responsibilities in producing 135 total yards (66 rushing,Authentic Cooper Kupp Jersey, 69 receiving) and two touchdowns on 25 touches.

I saw it was open and they were overplaying. I saw field and I was trying to get to the end zone.”,“Give thanks to Coreywomens John Johnson Jersey said Williams of his touchdown catch. “If Corey didn’t make that play, Shazier definitely would’ve got me. But after that

The Packers again started fast on their first possession of the second half with Hundley finding Adams open down the sideline for the 55-yard touchdown,womens Cooper Kupp Jersey,Hundley’s longest pass of the season.

77-yard series,Green Bay’s defense earned two of its three takeaways in the second half, but the offense wasn’t able to convert either into points. However, the Packers did have a resurgence midway through the fourth quarter when Hundley engineered a 12-play, culminating in Williams’ 4-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 28 with 2:02 left.'womens Samson Ebukam Jersey,

With a 25-yard pass to tight end Richard Rodgers on the first play sparking the offense, Jordy Nelson (third-and-1) and Adams (fourth-and-6) had key conversions to keep the drive going.

especially having them in the huddle to keep me going.”,“Just score – score and play our game,” said Williams of the team’s mindset. “Everybody in there like Jordy, they’re used to all that stuff. I think I did a great job of keeping cool

The Packers’ 28 points were the most any team had scored against the now 9-2 Steelers aside from Jacksonville’s 30-9 win on Oct. 8, which is the last time Pittsburgh has lost.

As it looks to keep its playoff hopes alive, Green Bay hopes to carry over those positives into next week’s home game against Tampa Bay.

there’s a lot that we got better at,“The season ain’t over,” center Corey Linsley said. “It’s not like we’re sitting here hanging our heads. It sucks, but there’s a lot we can learn from, some things we’ve still got to get better at.”womens Forrest Lamp Jersey,

Spriggs’ shot: Two weeks after being activated off injured reserve, former second-round pick Jason Spriggs made his first career start at right tackle.womens Mike Williams Jersey,

Spriggs stepped into the starting lineup last week against the Ravens when Justin McCray exited with a knee injury. While McCray practiced this week, Spriggs took a good deal of the reps at right tackle. McCray was filling in at center with Linsley limited with a back issue.Authentic Gerald Everett Jersey,

who was made aware Saturday that he was going to start. “Justin has been playing well and we’re going to ride with him, “Ever since I started practicing,>I’ve been working at right tackle knowing that’s kind of an up-in-the-air spot,womens Dan Feeney Jersey,” said Spriggs, but he was a little banged up. So I came in.”

McCray and Ulrick John With his insertion into the starting lineup, Spriggs became the fourth different right tackle to line up next to veteran right guard Jahri Evans this season, joining BulagaAuthentic John Johnson Jersey,''who received some reps as the sixth offensive linemen Sunday.

“I felt like he played well early in the year before he got dinged-up and went down,” Evans said. “He’s been working hard every day in practice and his number was called again today on ‘Sunday Night Football,womens Josh Reynolds Jersey and I felt like he came out and performed well.”

With Clay Matthews out with a groin injury, second-year linebacker Kyler Fackrell had two tackles in his first NFL start Sunday. Authentic Josh Reynolds Jersey,'

Almost there: Blake Martinez’s 15 tackles (12 solo) against the Steelers puts the second-year linebacker only one away from his first 100-tackle season.,Authentic Rayshawn Jenkins Jersey,'

His 99 tackles through 11 games have Martinez ranked fourth in the NFL behind Washington’s Zach Brown (110), Cleveland’s Joe Schobert (101) and Seattle’s Bobby Wagner (100).

“He deserves everything he gets,” defensive tackle Mike Daniels said. “He’s a phenomenal kid. Plays his heart out. He definitely just works and wants to be the best.womens Gerald Everett Jersey, When you have a guy like that, eventually you get out what you put in.”

Injury front:The Packers managed to leave Heinz Field no worse for wear on the injury front.Authentic Samson Ebukam Jersey Cornerbacks Kevin King (shoulder) and Damarious Randall (cramping) exited momentarily at two different points, but both returned.
First, Darius Slay has a new name., he got a fat new contract. Now

Slay changed the name on the back of his familiar No. 23 jersey to read "Slay Jr." and debuted the new look at Wednesday's night practice in Allen Park.

Slay said he's always been a Junior, but he never before wore the name on the back of his jersey for "personal reasons."

So what changed?,womens Thomas Davis Sr Jersey,

"Respect level." Slay said. "I respect my dad so I know it’ll make him happy so I feel good about it so I just did it for him. My daddy.",womens Walter Payton Jersey, love my dad. You’re only blessed with one dad

Slay isn't the first Lions player to add a suffix to the back of his jersey in recent years.

Titus Young added "Sr." after the birth of his son in 2012,womens Jordan Howard Jersey and Mikel Leshoure did the same later in the season.

Slay said he only had to show the equipment staff his license with "Jr." in his name in order to get the jersey change.

"They just wanted to make sure I had junior on my license, though. I like it on the back.",<Authentic A.J. Green Jersey Slay said. "It wasn’t that hard. It’s kind of sweet

Slay,womens Tyler Eifert Jersey, said he was also excited to see his ranking on the Madden football game., who signed a four-year contract extension last week

Slay checked in with a 90 overall grade,womens Vontaze Burfict Jersey, tied for the highest on the team with defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

"I am loving that,womens Gary Barnidge Jersey," Slay said.

Slay said his only complaint is that gamemakers only gave him a 93 grade in speed.Authentic Jim Brown Jersey,

"I’m way faster than 93 speed," Slay said. "I run 93 speed backpedaling. I need to be 99 speed,Authentic Gary Barnidge Jersey, put me 99 speed.", that’s all I’m saying. I need to be 99 speed. That's it. That’s the only thing I need them to do

More notes and observations from Lions camp:Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey,

Allen Park police, and Matthew Stafford's wife,000 tickets were distributed for the event, fire and EMS departments. About 1, handed out two preseason tickets to most in attendance.,womens A.J. Green Jersey, , Kelly, and Lions president Rod Wood

Theo Riddick on what it's like having a night practice: "More bugsAuthentic Thomas Davis Sr Jersey, man. Definitely."

Riddick returned to practice after a two-day absence. He only did individual drills Wednesday,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey, with Zach Zenner taking Riddick's usual second-team reps on offense.

I've mentioned before how thin the Lions are at cornerback behind starters Slay,<Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey, outplay Alex Carter in one-on-one goal line work. Copeland shook Carterwho the Lions re-signed Tuesday, Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs. It was eye-opening to see Damian Copeland,> then Copeland had easy wins on Reps 3 and 4.,' a third-round pick last year, off the line of scrimmage on their first rep and had a few-yard cushion on a fade route he caught in the back of the end zone. Carter got his hand up to bat down a pass on their second rep

but Lee also had a drop in an 11-on-11 period when he subbed in for TJ Jones with the second-team offense for one play. Jones,womens Jim Brown JerseyJeremy Kerley and Andre Caldwell were the second group of receivers in (after Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin),Jay Lee showed a few nice moves in goal line work against Ian Wells, but it was interesting that Lee was next off the bench.

The Lions ran a 2-minute period Wednesday with the ball at the minus-35-yard line and 90 seconds on the clock. Matthew Stafford led the first-team offense to a touchdown when he checked to a quarterback draw -- kind of unfair when he can't be hit -- after a questionable pass interference call on Nevin Lawson against Golden Tate in the end zone. Lawson did appear to commit a pass interference penalty a few plays earlier in the drive that wasn't called.,Authentic Vontaze Burfict Jersey<

intended for Andre Roberts, appeared to be broken up by a defender in the end zone. With the threes,Neither the second- nor the third-team offense reached the end zone when it had the ball. Dan Orlovsky's final pass, Don Carey -- who played as the third-team nickel cornerback in his first practice off the physically unable to perform list -- nearly intercepted Jake Rudock on the first play.Authentic Tyler Eifert Jersey,

but Geoff Schwartz (vs. Caraun Reid),The one-on-one pass rush period was shortened to only one rep for most linemen and Wednesday's version was a little more evenly matched. womens Andy Dalton Jersey,Ziggy Ansah did blow past Taylor Decker on their snap, Travis Swanson (vs. Khyri Thornton) and Joe Dahl (vs. Wallace Gilberry) also took good reps.

Marvin Jones Jr. spent his bye week doing something he always thought about doing but hadn’t yet – trying out for American Idol.womens Xavier Woods Jersey,

The Detroit Lions receiver went to the Nashville auditions for the rebooted show – it’ll premiere on March 11 on ABC – and went in for an audition with Lionel Richie, a feature about it will be shown on ESPN on Sunday, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. For the audition, Jones was No. 40025.womens Garett Bolles Jersey,

since choir when he was a child in California.,Jones wouldn’t say Wednesday what he sang for the judges – or what happens during the audition. That, he said, would have to wait for NFL Countdown on Sunday morning. Jones has been singing,Authentic Taco Charlton Jersey, though

“It was just a good opportunity,Authentic Chidobe Awuzie Jersey, it’s funny because I’ve been in the league six years and there’s still people who don’t know I can sing. I’ve never really put myself out there like that,<Authentic Jourdan Lewis Jersey,” Jones said. “Usually, just when people were nagging me to do it.

“Just a change. Just something I thought it would be a cool experience before I get too old.”Authentic Brendan Langley Jersey

27,Authentic Ryan Switzer Jerseyyou wouldn’t have known the song he describes as “kind of like a Detroit anthem type thing” was him., who prefers old school R&B music, has been recording his own songs for years, a track titled “Count It Up,Authentic Carlos Henderson Jersey>,” was played twice during preseason game warmups at Ford Field. Jones didn’t tell anyone about it,Jones but has released none of them. One, though, and if you didn’t know it was him beforehand

One day, he might release his catalog on iTunes and make a run at a music career. He has been working on his music inside his own house. When he bought a home in suburban Detroit after signing with the Lions, he said, he had a music studio built in his basement. It was finished about a year ago.,Authentic Xavier Woods Jersey>

And when he goes down there intermittently,,womens Brendan Langley Jersey he’ll get lost in his passion away from work.

I’ve been here for six hours.’ There’s times I don’t go down there for three weeks.,“Sometimes if I do go, I’ll be down there for a long time,” Jones said. “I’ll do some stuff and I’ll look up and it’s like 11 o’clock. I’m like,womens Taco Charlton Jersey ‘Dang

“But just the luxury of going down there whenever I want to,womens Chidobe Awuzie Jersey, I do it.”

Jones said he didn’t know if his audition would be shown on "American Idol" when it reboots this spring. He said he has no ultimate goal with singing – it’s mostly for his own pleasure now. womens Jourdan Lewis Jersey,' He has had Lions practice squad receiver/rapper Dontez Ford in his studio for recording sessions -- but you never know what’ll happen in the future.

He has shown off his pipes before "American Idol." Jones sang on an episode of "Beyond the Stripes" when he was in Cincinnati -- and at the end of that clip one of the hosts wondered openly if "American Idol" was in his future. Turns out,womens Ryan Switzer Jersey, and he has posted some quick hits on Instagram, it was. There's a decent amount of YouTube videos of him singing if you want to find them, too.

This,Authentic Garett Bolles Jersey,' though, is a different level.

“It’s something I’ve been doing since I’ve been very,womens Demarcus Walker Jersey, Jones said. “It’s just good to go down there and zone out and sing or do whatever. Somebody’s down there, very young, I’ll record them. It’s fun.'womens Carlos Henderson Jersey””

Don't, expect Jones to give up his day job as a Lions wide receiver, though, where he has caught 33 passes for 515 yards so far this season -- on pace for career highs in receptions and yards.Authentic Demarcus Walker Jersey,


People talk about Matthew Stafford’s right arm as if he can’t get it through customs without the proper paperwork. The scouting term arm talent seems to have been invented for him.,womens Craig Mager Jersey, Arm talent includes arm strength, but does not just mean arm strength. In other words, Stafford is most likely to shatter the right window., if you lined NFL quarterbacks up on a sidewalk and asked them to throw at the house across the street while running on wet leavesAuthentic Tyler Higbee Jersey,

The first time Stafford threw a slant at a Georgia practice, one of the instructors, the ball actually whistled. Defensive backs were in disbelief. Receivers became accustomed to his passes dislocating their fingers. After last season, Stafford visited the 3DQB quarterback-training facility in Los Angeles. Adam Dedeaux, asked Stafford to make a difficult, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. But he had never seen anybody wing a football like that before., “off-platform” throw,Authentic Craig Mager Jerseyjust to see what he would try. Stafford lowered his arm angle and rifled the pass so hard that Dedeaux started laughing. He had worked with Tom Brady,womens Pharoh Cooper Jersey,

Longtime NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky, “As good as guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees are,womens Rob Havenstein Jersey, who backed up Stafford in Detroit, says Matthew can do things those guys can’t. And it doesn’t take away from those guys.” Those guys know it, too. Brees has said of Stafford,womens Sean Mannion Jersey,' and he is now out with a broken clavicle., “He can make some throws that most guys can’t make,>womens Kenyan Drake Jersey, or certainly can’t even attempt to make.” The only player who can possibly match Stafford’s arm talent is the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers

Stafford, Brees and Brady in another way: as one of the most valuable players in the NFL. His raw numbers this season (273.4 yards per game, 29, is starting to rival Rodgers, 62.6% completions,)are especially impressive when you look at what surrounds that arm. The Lions have not had a 100-yard rusher in a single game since 2013. They rank 29th in yards per run. They have allowed the fifth-most sacks in the league.,Authentic Pharoh Cooper Jersey>, Their receivers struggle against press coverage. Yet Stafford has them tied for sixth in the league in scoring., 17 touchdowns, five interceptionsAuthentic Laremy Tunsil Jersey>,

A native Texan, Stafford projects an understated cool, for reasons that seemed to defy logic. His arm was too great. His best receiver was too talented. His obsession was too intense. His coaches did not ask enough of him. He needed his job to get harder before he could make it look easy., like a cowboy in a Western; you half-expect a cigarette to dangle from his side-smile. But two years ago, he was struggling more than he ever had'womens Jamon Brown Jersey,

His wife,” Orlovsky says. And Stafford, Kelly,,Authentic Rob Havenstein Jersey says Matthew “has not changed one bit” since she met him at a movie theater before her freshman year at Georgia. But in the past two seasons his friends have noticed a subtle shift in his mental state. “Completeness is probably a really good word, who is not typically prone to public introspection, and probably a better person.”'womens Tyler Higbee Jerseysays, “There’s been a lot of self-assessment?.?.?.?.?I feel like I’ve come out the other side a better player

Stafford sits down in the Lions’ practice facility wearing,Authentic Sean Mannion Jersey as usual, leading people to assume that he doesn’t care about details. They are wrong on both macro and micro levels.,Authentic Xavien Howard Jersey a Detroit Tigers hat. He often wears hats backwards

Kelly guesses Matthew has owned 90 Tigers hats since the Lions drafted him with the top pick in 2009. He currently has at least 15 blue ones and five others, and while they are all size 7 5/8",womens Laremy Tunsil Jersey,using different colors to highlight the most important information., he is picky about the exact fit. He has four in his rotation now. He puts them on only after he showers so they don’t get too dirty. Then he sits down to watch film—taking copious, methodical notes

“There is this perception that he is this lazy, doesn’t-really-care,” Orlovsky says. “He is the total opposite.”, hat-backwards Texas fun-boyAuthentic Kenyan Drake Jersey,'

The perception starts with the arm. Quarterback may be the most complex position in sports, he got to the sideline and coach Jim Schwartz told him: 'Authentic Jamon Brown Jersey, “Don’t you ever stop slinging it.” Stafford hated committing the turnover but loved Schwartz’s reaction., yet we often describe the stars in the narrowest terms. Tom Brady is a winner. Drew Brees: accurate. Peyton Manning? Nerd. And Matthew Stafford: gunslinger. After he threw his first NFL interceptionwomens Xavien Howard Jersey>,
It’s no secret that the Chiefs,womens Chandler Jones Jersey, have been on a downward trend lately. But according to this article by fivethirtyeight.com,Authentic Budda Baker Jersey, once firmly in control of the AFC West,Authentic Chad Williams Jersey Kansas City’s collapse has been the worst in the history of the league.

538 uses a rating system called the Elo rating to determine team rankings and win probabilities. The Elo system doesn’t just look at the current season,Authentic Dorian Johnson Jersey, but goes back several years and looks at a large sample size of team performance. This makes it more reliable and less likely to have knee-jerk reactions to the bumps in the road teams normally go through, or to sudden success after long periods of being awful (think 2016 Raiders).Authentic Brandon Doughty Jersey,

But the Chiefs this year are a special case. After their 4-0 start,Authentic T. J. Logan Jerseywhich is not very good. That’s the worst short-term drop in history,womens T. J. Logan Jersey, they had an Elo rating of 1701. That’s really good. And then they lost to the Steelers. And then they lost to the Giants. And then they lost to the Bills. And now the Chiefs have an Elo rating of 1584, and the worst since the 1986 Bears.

The Chiefs’ M.O. has been,Authentic Takkarist McKinley Jersey, to have a stifling defense and an offense that is good enough to score more than the defense allows. But this year, in recent years, K.C. came out with their hair on fire. Kareem Hunt was looking like Barry Sanders and Alex Smith was a more mobile Joe Montana.,womens Chad Williams Jersey,

It was a mirage. Hunt has turned back into a pumpkin, going from 6.3 yards per carry in his first five games to a mere 3.2 yards per carry since then. Smith has been woeful as well, and has reverted to the Captain Checkdown mentality which hamstrung him in San Francisco and in his initial time with the Chiefs.s,womens Budda Baker Jersey,

The Chiefs’ ability to finish drives on offense has come to a screeching halt. They were scoring on 52.8% of their drives in their first five games, but only 33.3% since then.Authentic Haason Reddick Jersey That’s leaving their defense out there for far too long, and without Eric Berry they simply can’t get the job done. The Chiefs’ offense has reached levels of ineptitude normally reserved for the Broncos- the only team KC has beaten during their current run of futility.'womens John Brown Jersey,

While the Chiefs still have a good shot at the playoffs because there are no other teams in their division who are over .500, they have plenty of divisional games coming up. They have five games remaining- at the Jets,<womens Brandon Doughty Jersey, hosting the Chargers, and at the Broncos. They are very capable of losing each one of those games,womens Haason Reddick Jersey, hosting the Dolphin hosting the Raiderswomens Dorian Johnson Jersey, and I assure you that the Broncos we saw in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game in Oakland would spank these Chiefs worse than the Bills did.

if they win that game in Kansas City,The Raiders, will hold a tiebreaker over the Chiefs. The Raiders’ remaining schedule shapes up favorably- Giants, Cowboys, at the Eagles, at Chiefs, and “at” the Chargers. Of those games,womens Takkarist McKinley Jersey it’s also possible that Philly will have locked up home field by that point,Authentic Chandler Jones Jersey,' > the only one the Raiders seem really unlikely to win is the Eagles game on Christmas Eve. However, and may not give it 100% against the Silver and Black.

The Raiders have put themselves in a bit of a bind with their early season woes and that ugly four-game losing streak. But, particularly the Chiefs. It’s entirely possible that the Week 17 tilt with the Chargers will be for the division crown, they find themselves at long last benefiting from the misfortune of others,Authentic John Brown Jersey,' and the Raiders could be looking at a 4 seed with a record of 9-7.
it’s usually quite the scene.,When little Jadyn Richt makes her way to the practice field or the Hurricanes football facilityAuthentic Graham Glasgow Jersey,

Her grandfather, Hurricanes coach Mark Richt, even posting a sign noting that fact on his office door. He typically has a hard time wiping the smile off his face when she visits.womens Paxton Lynch Jersey,, has made it abundantly clear she is welcome any time

Miami’s players, Jon, particularly the quarterbacks who work with her father,womens Taylor Decker Jersey,> 3-year-old Jadyn can be a touch shy., angle for handshakes and high-fives, each one a victory of sorts for them since sometimes

the Richts wondered if Jadyn — who has battled Crohn’s Disease for most of her short life — would ever be able to do something as simple as run and laugh and play like most children her age.,And then there’s the moment Anna Richt – Jadyn’s mother and Jon’s wife – catches her breath and tries not to let her emotions get the best of her as she watches the little girl run to her father. Not long agoAuthentic Paxton Lynch Jersey

” Anna Richt said. “That’s something we don’t ever take for granted.”,“It’s pure joy seeing her be a normal 3-year-oldAuthentic Adam Gotsis Jersey,

the younger Richts feel grateful for the turns their lives have taken in recent months.,As the Hurricanes prepare to close out their regular season this Thanksgiving week in Pittsburghwomens Shane Ray Jersey,

Miami enters its game against the Panthers unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the nation. Of course,Yes, Jon Richt had a hand in that as the Hurricanes’ quarterbacks coach. But there is so much more.Authentic Shane Ray Jersey

is responding to treatment for her Crohn’s Disease. There’s also the fact that come spring, who as an infant rejected food so much doctors labeled her as failing to thrive before diagnosing her,womens Chaz Green JerseyJadyn will be a big sister. And then there’s the intersection of family and football,There’s knowing that Jadyn, the two linked when Mark Richt called his son and asked him to join his efforts at building Miami back into the kind of national powerhouse program it once was.

Jon Richt was an offensive assistant for the Buffalo Bills. He was learning from Rex Ryan,Authentic Jeff Heuerman Jersey,At the time his father offered him the job, but he and Anna were separated from their family amid Jadyn’s worsening health issues.

The opportunity to once again work beside his father was intriguing. Knowing that would bring Anna and Jadyn closer to the extended family only made the decision easier.womens Ty Sambrailo Jersey,

occasionally taking on babysitting duties so Anna and Jon can enjoy a night out. Anna often has help with doctor’s appointments or treatment sessions when Jon is bogged down with work. And on the field,Authentic Taylor Decker Jersey, hands-on grandparents,Jon Richt has now had in his two seasons at Miami,Mark and Katharyn Richt are now thoroughly enjoying their chance to be nearby, worked with the school’s all-time leading passer in Brad Kaaya and then helped Malik Rosier grow from back-up to starter on an undefeated team. .

in that position,womens A'Shawn Robinson Jersey, and I also knew i had a lot to prove,” Jon Richt said of the job offer from his dad. “It was a great thing to know that not only do I get to go and be with my family, get my wife and my daughter back around family, I was very excited and very honored that he would think of me in that way,“When he called me and told me what he was planning to do, it was also something where your father trusts you and respects you enough in what you’ve done so far to hire you and kind of put his name on the line a little bit, too. It was very humbling.”

There have still been challenges, of course.'womens Adam Gotsis Jersey,''

Jadyn spent 10 days in the hospital after a port in her chest became infected. After spending hours in the sun working through drills and then going over film, Jon Richt would head to the hospital and spend nights with Jadyn so that Anna could go home and get some rest,womens Graham Glasgow JerseyThis summer while the Hurricanes went through training camp and Jon and Mark Richt had to decide who would be Miami’s next starting quarterback, before the family did it all all again the next day.

once Rosier emerged from the four-man race,At work, there was the challenge of preparing him for the job left vacant when Kaaya departed for the NFL draft.Authentic Ty Sambrailo Jersey,

going from game-manager to field general,620 yards and 23 touchdowns to help lead Miami to its first Coastal Division title. For Rosier, assuming the role of leader didn’t come easily, engineering several game-winning drives and throwing for 2,The redshirt junior has been a surprise of sorts for the Hurricanes,Authentic Chaz Green Jersey,' but he said Jon Richt helped him find his voice.

sometimes it’s hard because it’s more like I’m a laid-back, relaxed guy,” Rosier said. “There are certain times in practice, where as a quarterback, and I know for me,“I think the biggest thing coach Jon brings is energy. He’s always pushing us to bring more energy, I have to demand greatness from these guys … and coach Jon does a good job of pushing me,Authentic A'Shawn Robinson Jersey which helps me push other people. I think that’s the biggest thing. He comes out here every day prepared to push us and coach us hard.”

too. … When it’s time to be professional, we’re professional. There’s light moments were we can be father and son. It’s great. And obviously, having his wife Anna and the baby here — well, I know I can trust him. He does a great job of knowing what’s going on upstairs.womens Jeff Heuerman Jersey, He can communicate it well to Malik and the quarterbacks. I appreciate the professional and the coach that he is,As Mark Richt said of his quarterbacks coach: “Even in the heat of the game, she’s not a baby anymore, Jadyn our granddaughter — it’s awesome.”

A week ago, with that goal of getting the ball back quickly in a one-score game.>womens Ronnie Stanley Jersey His chasing and failing to catch JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 97-yard touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a highlight played over and over and over again., Quandre Diggs was on the wrong end of the worst of big plays. It was the kind that came after his offense was stopped near the goal-linewomens Austin Hooper Jersey?

But the Detroit Lions have shown continued faith in what the third-year nickel cornerback can do ever since he won the position battle in training camp this year,>Authentic Ronnie Stanley Jersey, almost every single play when the defense went to a nickel alignment.womens Brandon Williams Jersey, and that was never more evident than Monday night in Green Bay. The Lions not only kept Diggs in his normal position but they also made him one of the foundational parts of their defensive game plan. He played a career-high 85 percent of the snaps

Diggs certainly made that pay off in Detroit's 30-17 romping of the Packers. He brought the wood against the run, including a tackle for loss. And a week after giving up 97 yards on a single play, he was targeted one time, Diggs only surrendered 10 receiving yards on one catch against the Packers.,Authentic Deion Jones Jersey, In 50 total snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

who spent several downs throwing to nobody despite receivers that were breaking open. All cornerback stats are going to look better against him than even the average quarterback. But Diggs' ability to stay active and fend off any competition from DJ Hayden for work showcases what the Lions continue to really like about him: He's a force against the run and can be effective in coverage when he isn't stuck in it all day.,Authentic Robert Nkemdiche Jersey,It's to be kept in perspective against a quarterback like Brett Hundley

Here were other observations from how the snap counts shook out:Authentic D.J. Humphries Jersey< ,

-- The Lions have found a new member of the pass rush. Jacquies Smith was playing in just his second game of 2017 and first with the Lions after signing,Authentic Brandon Williams Jersey even more than Cornelius Washington's 41 percent. He was in the game early and often,womens D.J. Humphries Jerseydeparting and signing again over the past couple weeks. The sixth-year defensive end was not only active over rookie Jeremiah Valoaga but played 49 percent of the snaps, and he finished with a game-high two quarterback hits. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said last week that he was going to have to try some new avenues to generate a pass rush after Detroit failed to find a single sack against Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger. In addition to dialing up some blitzes,Authentic Keanu Neal Jersey, this was the new approach, and it worked some in a game where Hundley made pressures a little easier. At 6 feet 2 inches and 260 poundswomens Deion Jones Jersey Smith is the oddball in the defensive end room as a lankier, faster player. He had 13.5 sacks combined in 2014 and 2015 before his 2016 ACL tear,and he can provide a little different form of a pass rush for the Lions if he can stay healthy and the rest of the defense can defend the run well enough to give him a legitimate number of snaps.

-- The blowout helped give a little bit of rest for Golden Tate, who is still recovering a bit from his shoulder injury, which was even less than what he had against New Orleans, even if it's difficult to tell. He played 51 percent of the snaps, when he got hurt. womens Keanu Neal Jersey w To lead the game with seven catches and 113 yards in half the game says plenty about the kind of zone he's in in this offense.'Authentic Jalen Collins Jersey,

-- Darren Fells outsnapped Eric Ebron again, 43 plays to 35. This isn't anything new, especially since the Lions are going to go with Fells' blocking at the goal line (and those plays add up with their continued inability to convert in that area). Fells is also a better help for Brian Mihalik at left tackle given that blocking prowess. It'll be interesting to see how this approach changes, when first-round left tackle Taylor Decker is backwomens Robert Nkemdiche Jersry? if it changes,Authentic MarkusGolden Jersey, which could potentially happen this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

-- Second-round rookie Teez Tabor snagged 11 plays at cornerback,womens MarkusGolden Jersey,'ho played 30 snaps, which are eight more than he's had in the other seven games combined. He traded off with DJ Hayden to provide some relief for Nevin Lawson. Tabor is making a little progress at the positionAuthentic Austin Hooper Jersey,and the less Hundley could rely on just tossing it up and asking them to make a play in coverage, but this also showed a desire to match up to the size Green Bay presented out wide with 6-foot-3-inch Jordy Nelson and 6-foot-1-inch Davante Adams. Those body types just make it difficult against 5-foot-9-inch Lawson,womens Jalen Collins Jersey, the more the Lions could force him to create. That obviously didn't go that well for the Packers.
Where the fine line exists for each player in the NFL is one each man has to determine for himself.

What is the difference between being injured and being in pain?,Authentic Chris Hogan Jersey

It’s one right guard Kyle Long is dealing with, not on a weekly basis but every day of the week that he has to suit up and practice and especially on game days,womens Chris Hogan Jersey, something he wrestled with the last two weeks, missing the Nov. 12 Packers game but returning to play in the Nov. 19 loss to the Lions when the Bears rushed for 222 yards.

Long still is dealing with the torn labrum in his left shoulder that he suffered just before the start of the 2016 season and before the $40 million, four-year extension he received. His left hand has been banged up and might require attention at the end of the season — he’s wisely not talking about injury specifics at this point. Long’s right ankle still hobbles him some after reconstructive surgery to repair the deltoid ligament and peroneal tendon. In essence, everything in that ankle was shredded last year at Tampa Bay. 'womens David Andrews Jersey,He chose to have only the ankle fixed last offseason after an adverse reaction to medicine during the ankle surgery.

” Long said. “You have to know the difference and sometimes being hurt in a few different places can make it seem like you’re injured but you have to find a way to be mentally tough and compete because the guys in here count on you. I know the pain I feel when I play is nowhere near the pain we’ll feel if we lose.”,“There is a difference between being hurt and injured'Authentic David Andrews Jersey,

reconsider.,Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd became the seventh Bears starter to be placed on injured reserve this week and if you think Long is considering shutting it down if the season becomes a lost cause if/when the Bears are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention,Authentic Trey Flowers Jersey

“I’ve never shut it down before,” he said. “No, I’m not shutting it down. We’re all playing through stuff. That is reality.”'womens Shaq Mason Jersey

a potent running game.,A three-game losing streak has made it unlikely the Bears will achieve any team goals that were set before the season but that hasn’t detoured plans for developing rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky. One thing the Bears have done even while the record sags — 3-7 entering Sunday’s game against the NFC-leading Eagles (9-1) at Lincoln Financial Field — is give their quarterback the best friend he can have womens Kyle Van Noy Jersey.

The 222 yards against the Lions was the third time this season the Bears have reached that many,womens Devin McCourty Jersey a figure they have hit only two other times in the last 27 seasons. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was quick to point out the return of Long to the lineup had a lot to do with the big day on the ground when the Bears averaged 7.4 yards per carry, their fifth-best performance since 1940 according to profootballreference.com.

“I told Kyle this‘Hey look,womens Rex Burkhead Jersey, I know what you are what grinding through. Well,Authentic Kyle Van Noy JerseyI don’t know personally but I can just watch you and the way you are moving and everything, he’s better than almost every guard in the NFL. When he is in the huddle there is a different confidence. It’s a confidence that No. 10 (Trubisky) has when Kyle is in there and really for the whole group. It’s a big deal when 75 is in there.”,Authentic Shaq Mason Jersey,' and I know how committed you are to be playing through all that,’” Loggains said. “It’s not getting better. He’s a guard that whatever percentage he is at right now

It doesn’t look pretty. He’s not playing with one arm but at times you can tell the left arm isn’t 100 percent like when he clubs Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead with his right arm after moving to the second level on a Jordan Howard run. Long and right tackle Bobby Massie doubled tackle Akeem Spence and then Long moved on to block Whitehead and then seal off linebacker Jarrad Davis on Howard’s 50-yard run. Long never has been a technician and he looks even more unconventional with the injuries. Authentic Mike Gillislee Jersey,

“He’s getting away with the stuff that mom, dad and God gave him,” Loggains said. “He’s grinding big time. I don’t know. He’s probably 70 percent of himself.,womens Nate Solder Jersey, It’s not just that shoulder.”

Long will face his brother Chris, a defensive end for the Eagles, for the second time in a regular-season game. Chris Long missed the 2015 meeting with the Rams with a knee injury. Chris Long sat out 10 games in 2014 with an ankle injury so he has been a good sounding board for his younger brother in the last year.Authentic Nate Solder Jersey,

“He was coming out of a two-year spell when he was dealing with a lot of stuff like I am right now,” Long said. “He had an ankle, a knee,Authentic Devin McCourty Jersey.> a hand. He has had a lot. And to see him come out and win a Super Bowl last year and now he has a chance to win another Super Bowl it’s pretty awesome.”

Long looks forward to healing up' womens Trey Flowers Jersey, likely after an offseason procedure or two,Authentic Rex Burkhead Jersey,' and getting to a point where he can chase a Super Bowl like his brother.

“When I get healthy there are going to be a lot of people who are a loss for words,” he said. “The game has been really good to me and I try to return it through playingwomens Mike Gillislee Jersey,''you know, there are some spots where you question yourself but you have to be able to go out there and turn it on.”
on Twitter (@ChrisBurkeNFL) or via email (cburke@theathletic.com). The other alternative is to shout questions up to me in the Ford Field press box,reminder before we head into this week's mailbag: You can get your questions to me through the comments section on this post, but that's an ambitious ask on my part. womens Jason Myers Jersey, I'll toss down some popcorn if you go that route.

Let's get to the questions …Authentic Brad Nortman Jersey,

including with the Chargers this most recent offseason. (He also made headlines following the 2016 hiring cycle, it's a minor upset the Lions have managed to keep him this long'womens Marqise Lee Jersey,'. He's interviewed for a head-coaching gig each of the past three years,Frankly, when he said that only two of his four interviews were “legitimate” – a not-too-subtle critique of how some front offices approach the Rooney Rule.)Authentic Brandon Linder Jersey,'

is still among the most likely assistants to receive a shot in the near future. Had Jim Caldwell been let go at any point, who will turn 53 in March, the odds are that Austin would have stepped into the interim role. He now has 14 years coaching experience in the NFL,The short answer is that Austin,womens Patrick Omameh Jersey four as the Lions' defensive coordinator. He's highly respected by his players and held in high esteem outside Detroit.

your concern is warranted. Who knows which coaching jobs will be open after the '17 season,womens Abry Jones JerseySo, but there are always a few. Austin again should be on the short list for those gigs.

eyesore of a swing. The Lions still remain convinced,womens Brad Nortman Jersey, that is bad. At least Barkley owns his hitchy, at least publicly,Authentic Marqise Lee Jersey,Oof, that they're held back not by play calls or personnel but by execution. Matthew Stafford said it again on Wednesday.

but a half-season's worth? At some point,of course. Maybe you chalk up poor execution to a week or two of poor red-zone performances,Authentic Jermey Parnell Jersey, both because of the backs they have and the way this offense is built. It's meant to win on the perimeter – as Ameer Abdullah did on the clever,There's more too itAuthentic Malcolm Butler Jersey, the issue transitions from a lack of execution to a straight inability to pull off assignments. The underlying problem is the obvious one: This team is not capable of running the ball in short-yardage spots, toss-sweep touchdown Monday – or in space, not between the tackles.

Should the Lions still be capable of getting a freakin' yard on three plays at the goal line? Of course. But attempts to blow defensive lines back still isn't working.womens Malcolm Butler Jersey

is wherever you feel like placing the blame. Jim Bob Cooter has to draw up better designs when everything's compacted, then, the line and backs have to be more effective in all facets,The answer, and Stafford probably needs to make something out of nothing from time to time.Authentic Tashaun Gipson Jersey,

Going into the off-season, what will the Lions have for Cap Space? – Kyle SwegerAuthentic Patrick Omameh Jersey,

An email question! Bonus points.Authentic Jason Myers Jersey

the expectation is that next season's cap will land in the $175 million range. OvertheCap has the Lions with approximately $120.3 million committed for '18, up from $155 million in 2016. Even assuming a slightly conservative bump, plus $6.3 million or so in dead money – they are still on the hook for money owed DeAndre Levy ($4.8 million),Authentic Abry Jones Jersey>,Let's start at the beginning: The salary cap this year is $167 million, Laken Tomlinson ($1.1 million) and Antwione Williams ($102K).

if the cap lands near $175 million, that was a lot of numbers. The answer is that,womens Tashaun Gipson Jersey,'the Lions currently are in line to have around $51 million available. A significant total. There will be adjustments coming, and when,womens Jermey Parnell Jersey,' specifically an extra $8.25 million added if, the Lions walk back Eric Ebron's 2018 contract option. As mentioned in our earlier draft primer, another adjustment could arrive via an extension for Golden Tate – he has just one year left on his current deal.

Whatever the in-house moves to come, womens Brandon Linder Jersey,Detroit is going to have money to spend in free agency.
Jim Harbaugh has repaired the weakened Michigan football program that Brady Hoke left behind.,Without question,womens Nick Boyle Jersey,

But nearing the end of his third season, Harbaugh is facing questions about the quality of his tenure beyond his golden sound bites.,womens Terrance West Jersey, carrying an 8-3 record and still without a top-two finish in the Big Ten East

Yes, and with a tough game against the Buckeyes set for Saturday Michigan’s program is better than where Hoke left it. But under Harbaugh, they could reasonably finish 8-5.,womens Benjamin Watson Jersey, the Wolverines are 1-4 against Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan State, plus a bowl game

Is that what Harbaugh was hired to do? No — which means some questions about Harbaugh’s tenure are fair. StillAuthentic Brandon Williams Jerseyillustrious arsenal of metaphors and past success, Harbaugh deserves more patience, have lent him near-mythical status., even if his eccentric character, both at Stanford and in the NFL

“I wasn’t consciously doing anything to be on the radar,” Harbaugh told reporters Monday at his weekly press conference.,Authentic Trai Turner Jersey, just coaching the football team

The first thing to consider when evaluating Michigan since Harbaugh has been coaching the football team is what has happened around the Big Ten. Ohio State,womens Sam Koch Jersey, has been exceptional and reasserted itself as college football royalty., under Urban Meyer

With its necessary NCAA sanctions expired,womens Trai Turner Jersey, particularly the past two seasons. One of the Wolverines’ three losses this fall came on the road against the then-No. 2 Nittany Lions. Should that be hung over Harbaugh’s head?, Penn State has re-established itself on the field

Since 2010, has refashioned itself as a top program in the conference — it has won more Big Ten titles than any team over the past seven seasons — and nationally. (To be fair, Michigan State, but they had won at least 11 games in five of their previous six seasons and appear to have returned to playing actual football)., long a bastion of mediocrity, the Spartans were awful in 2016Authentic Brent Urban Jersey

And this is just in the Wolverines’ division, the Big Ten East. There’s also Wisconsin turning in 10-plus-win seasons left and right and Iowa being Iowa. Harbaugh’s seven conference losses have been against these five teams. Indeed, but no one can ignore the quality he’s competing against in the Big Ten. It’s like faulting the Beach Boys because they aren’t the Beatles or the Rolling Stones., to be considered top-notch you have to beat other top-notch teams

The second thing to consider is Harbaugh has yet to completely have his hand-picked quarterback lead the offense. At Stanford, the Cardinal went from 4-8 and 5-7 without him to 8-5 and 12-1., once Harbaugh’s prized recruit Andrew Luck took the reignsAuthentic Terrance West Jersey,

he had Iowa graduate transfer Jake Rudock under center. Rudock was surprisingly good,In Harbaugh’s first season at Michigan, following four seasons coaching the San Francisco 49ers, but no one was going to confuse him with Luck or J.T. Barrett or former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook.,Authentic Nick Boyle Jersey, leading the Wolverines to 9-3 regular season and a Citrus Bowl victory against then-No. 19 Florida

Last year,'was fine — completing 61.6 percent of his passes for 2, Harbaugh had then-redshirt sophomore Wilton Speight see the bulk of the action under center. Speight,'the Wolverines looked like a championship-caliber team that throttled eventual Big Ten champion Penn State 49-10 before inexcusably losing three of their last four., a Hoke recruit,Authentic Sam Koch Jersey,'538 yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 starts. While Speight also isn’t Luck or Barrett or Cook

This fall, has been sidelined due to injury since Sept. 23, Speight,womens Ryan Kalil Jersey, and redshirt freshman Brandon Peters., leaving Harbaugh stuck with redshirt senior John O’Korn, who was one of Michigan’s mere five returning starters, a Houston transfer who objectively is not that good

Behind defensive coordinator Don Brown, but the defense can only do so much when you’re throwing O’Korn out there against Penn State and an inexperienced Peters against undefeated Wisconsin on the road. Peters left the game against the Badgers with a concussion and is status for Saturday is uncertain., the Wolverines’ defense is still No. 3 in the country Authentic Ryan Kalil Jersey,

needs a quality signal-caller to lead his offense. womens Brandon Williams Jersey He had it with Luck,Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback himself, and sometimes with Speight in 2016., mostly with Rudock

Next fall, and fellow four-star Dylan McCaffrey, with two of his talented recruits — Peters, Harbaugh will be in a better position to have the caliber player he needs under center.Authentic Benjamin Watson Jersey,, a former four-star prospect who Harbaugh said has similarities to Luck, who is currently redshirting — presumably joining Speight in a three-way quarterback battle

the clock really starts ticking for Harbaugh. womens Brent Urban Jersey,The lofty expectations that followed him to Ann Arbor in 2015 can start to be rigorously applied. It doesn’t mean Saturday’s game is meaningless — it’s still a huge rivalry — but it shouldn’t be used as a further indictment of Harbaugh since the Wolverines have two dinged-up quarterbacks and little to play for in the big picture. It also doesn’t mean Harbaugh is above criticism the past three seasons.,Then

any of Harbaugh’s shortcomings have lacked context and haven’t all been deserved.,But because of the quality of Big Ten competition and the quality of his quarterbacks

the past three seasons have been good for sound bites.,At the least
For the second straight week, a defensive touchdown helped them climb out of it., the Detroit Lions fell in a 10-0 hole. For the second straight week

it was the platoon of Nevin Lawson and D.J Hayden that delivered the goods.,For the second straight week

Hayden scooped up a fumbled snap by Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and raced 27 yards for a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 win against Chicago.

"Right when it hit the ground, I seen it, took it to the crib." ," Hayden said. "I picked it up

its fifth touchdown of the season by five different players. That includes Lawson just last week, and would have trailed 17-0 without the defensive score. But the defense delivered again,There's no disputing how much Detroit needed that play. It already trailed 10-0, the player with whom Hayden has platooned at cornerback this season.

who is second in the NFL in interceptions since signing with Detroit in 2013. Quin has housed one this year, who leads the NFL's cornerbacks with four interceptions.Authentic Glover Quin Jersey< And they're playing in front of Glover Quin,They're playing opposite Darius Slay, too.

Miles Killebrew,So has another safety, along with defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson. And those plays have been huge for a team whose offense has struggled to find the end zone this season.womens Glover Quin Jersey,"

"It kind of popped us off," Hayden said.womens Mike Daniels Jersey, "It kind of got a spark going. We started playing pretty well after that."

and the Lions have seven returns for scores this year. That's a league high,Throw in two touchdowns from punt returner Jamal Agnew,womens Travis Swanson Jerseyand matches a club record with six weeks still to go.

Their 17 takeaways are just one off the league lead. They had just 14 all last year,womens Tahir Whitehead Jersey, and only one scored a touchdown.

and trying to find a way to run with it, is balls on the ground and scooping them up regardless of the situation,Authentic Tahir Whitehead Jersey,' coach Jim Caldwell said. "Our guys have been working at it. oftentimes it's difficult to get. Nevin's last week was difficult,"It's one of the things we harps onto get up off the ground and to get that one. D.J. did a nice job scooping that thing up and rolling with it."

the Detroit Lions fell in a 10-0 hole. For the second straight week, For the second straight week,womens Vince Biegel Jersey, a defensive touchdown helped them climb out of it.

For the second straight week, it was the platoon of Nevin Lawson and D.J Hayden that delivered the goods.Authentic Travis Swanson Jersey,'

Hayden scooped up a fumbled snap by Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and raced 27 yards for a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 win against Chicago. womens Clay Matthews Jersey,

" Hayden said. "I picked it up, I seen it,Authentic Vince Biegel Jersey, "Right when it hit the ground, took it to the crib."

its fifth touchdown of the season by five different players. That includes Lawson just last week, and would have trailed 17-0 without the defensive score. But the defense delivered again,There's no disputing how much Detroit needed that play. It already trailed 10-0, the player with whom Hayden has platooned at cornerback this season.

who is second in the NFL in interceptions since signing with Detroit in 2013. Quin has housed one this year, who leads the NFL's cornerbacks with four interceptions. womens Matt Prater Jersey,And they're playing in front of Glover Quin,They're playing opposite Darius Slay, too.

Miles Killebrew,So has another safety, along with defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson. And those plays have been huge for a team whose offense has struggled to find the end zone this season.'womens Nevin Lawson Jersey,

"It kind of popped us off," Hayden said. 'Authentic Clay Matthews Jersey, "It kind of got a spark going. We started playing pretty well after that."

and the Lions have seven returns for scores this year. That's a league high,Authentic Nevin Lawson JerseyThrow in two touchdowns from punt returner Jamal Agnew, and matches a club record with six weeks still to go.

Their 17 takeaways are just one off the league lead. They had just 14 all last year,Authentic Matt Prater Jersey,' and only one scored a touchdown.

and trying to find a way to run with it,is balls on the ground and scooping them up regardless of the situation,Authentic Mike Daniels Jersey coach Jim Caldwell said. "Our guys have been working at it. oftentimes it's difficult to get. Nevin's last week was difficult,"It's one of the things we harps on'to get up off the ground and to get that one. D.J. did a nice job scooping that thing up and rolling with it."
 
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