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Report: Packers to play Jake Ryan over Nate Palmer against Lions

It's a vague report, but expect to see a lot more of #47 on the field on defense tonight than in recent weeks.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

When you watch the Green Bay Packers are on defense against the Detroit Lions tonight, you may see a different number manning a key spot in the middle of the unit.

Rookie inside linebacker Jake Ryan has played fairly well in his small number of snaps at inside linebacker this season, most of which came against the Panthers in week 9. According to this report from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Ryan is set for a larger role tonight than he has played in recent weeks:

This is an awfully vague statement, as it leaves open the possibility that Palmer may still start and/or play the majority of the snaps, but one thing does seem clear: we'll be getting a longer look at the fourth-round pick from Michigan tonight than we have seen over any of the past several games.

Perhaps this is a gameplan-related change. After all, the Lions have a trio of talented pass-catching running backs, with Theo Riddick as the most dangerous. Ryan may be preferred over Palmer in pass coverage, which could lead to the shift towards the rookie. Then again, it may just be due to Palmer's recent mediocre play as well.

We'll find out just how extensive the shift in playing time is when the game kicks off around 7:30 Central tonight.