The Green Bay Packers stand at 1-1, but the team has a noticeably chillier vibe than others in the same situation. After a season of struggles, Aaron Rodgers and the offense remain stuck in neutral. A 14-point showing last Sunday didn’t help matters. Rodgers didn’t seem as calm and collected as usual this week when speaking with the media.
Rodgers criticized the “predictable” questions, but after nearly a full calendar year of underwhelming offense, the media had to ask them. Rodgers usually seems relaxed in this situations and comes through the other end with a strong performance, and perhaps the latter part happens this Sunday. However, the Detroit Lions most recently won at Lambeau Field and only lost the other contest of 2015 via a Hail Mary on an untimed down. If the Packers fall short again, Rodgers will see more such questions.
When Letroy Guion left the Packers’ Week 2 tilt with the Minnesota Vikings, rookie defensive lineman Kenny Clark saw his role significantly increase. The 2016 first-round pick will likely play heavily in the base defense and sub packages this weekend, something he hasn’t done before in his professional career. Still, the early signs indicate that he can handle the additional work.
Sam Shields appears unlikely to play this week and perhaps not for a lengthy period of time. However, the Packers have taken the right approach with Shields, including sending him to a specialist and not pressuring him to return prematurely. Shields should return at some point, but not before he has completely recovered.
The Lions haven’t had much success running the football thus far in 2016, and that doesn’t seem likely to change in Week 3. Not only do the Packers own the top run defense in the league, but explosive runner Ameer Abdullah landed on injured reserve due to a foot injury. That leaves Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and rookie Dwayne Washington as Detroit’s only healthy tailbacks.