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Packers rule six key players out for Week 17 against Lions

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All six have started games this season, with five of the six starting at least four contests.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The injury report has been a lengthy one for the Green Bay Packers this week, as they have been practicing to prepare for their week 17 game against the Detroit Lions. On Friday morning, head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that six of the 15 players listed on the report will be out for Sunday’s game.

Of the six, five are players who have started at least four games for the Packers this season, and the sixth is a former starter who plays a key role on offense.

Here’s the full list of players who will definitely miss the game:

  • WR Davante Adams (concussion)
  • G Jahri Evans (knee)
  • RB Aaron Jones (knee)
  • WR Jordy Nelson (shoulder)
  • OLB Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder)
  • TE Richard Rodgers (shoulder)

Rodgers is the one player on that list who has not been a starter this season, as he has taken a back seat to Martellus Bennett early in the year and Lance Kendricks since the bye week. Still, he has played around 50% of the team’s snaps over the second half of the season. The Packers called up Emanuel Byrd from the practice squad, and Byrd will likely see action on both offense and special teams in Rodgers’ place.

Adams and Nelson were expected absences, with Adams continuing to be a part of the NFL’s concussion protocol due to the dirty hit he took from Thomas Davis of the Panthers. Nelson missed the second half of last week’s game against the Vikings with a shoulder injury, and given that the team has no playoff implications in week 17, it seems unwise to let him play as well.

Week 17 will be Nick Perry’s fourth missed game of 2017. Despite having nagging injuries over the past several years, he had missed just five games combined from 2014 through 2016. Perry racked up seven sacks this season, but has not had a single one since recording three against the Bears in week ten.

Jones, who appeared poised to be the Packers’ breakout running back this year, goes back on the shelf after a previous knee injury forced him to give way to Jamaal Williams as the team’s lead back. Jones has 448 rushing yards on 81 carries this season for a sparkling 5.5 yards-per-carry average, and he had marvelous performances against the Cowboys in week 5 (19 carries for 125 yards) and the Saints in week 7 (17 carries for 131 yards).

Finally, Evans’ absence (combined with Jason Spriggs going on injured reserve) likely means that the Packers will start Lucas Patrick at right guard and Justin McCray at right tackle. That tandem played well for the most part against the Vikings last Saturday when thrown into emergency action. Evans missed last week’s game, and this will be just the ninth game he will spend inactive in his 11-year career.

Stay tuned this afternoon for the full injury report.