The Green Bay Packers announced their final injury report of the week, leading up to their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Detroit Lions, on Wednesday. Officially, left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee), inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) and safety Zayne Anderson (hamstring) have been ruled out against Detroit while running back Aaron Jones (hamstring), receiver Christian Watson (hamstring), right tackle Zach Tom (knee), cornerback Jaire Alexander (back) and cornerback Carrington Valentine (biceps) are listed as questionable for the game.
The biggest surprise here is that Bakhtiari is going to be unable to go, as the coaching staff has not stated that Jordan Love’s blindside protector has faced a significant setback. After starting in Week 1, though, Bakhtiari will now have gone on to miss three straight games for the team. His replacement should be Rasheed Walker, who has started the last two weeks at left tackle.
Jenkins, who is dealing with an MCL sprain, will be replaced by Royce Newman, who started last week in place of Jenkins. Campbell went down with an ankle injury against the New Orleans Saints, which led to Isaiah McDuffie stepping up in the lineup at inside linebacker. With that being said, Eric Wilson did sub in for McDuffie on a few passing downs. Anderson has not been active for a single game for the Packers, yet, so his injury should not impact the gameday roster.
On Tuesday, the Packers’ players talked about Jones and Watson being healthy enough to suit up against the Lions. They’re listed as questionable, but there’s clearly some optimism there, though, head coach Matt LaFleur did throw a little bit of cold water on Watson’s statements, claiming that the receiver will not see the field until the medical staff clears him. Either way, Green Bay’s young offense is desperately in need of some of the speed that Jones and/or Watson could provide against Detroit.
Tom injured his knee just before kneeldowns versus the Saints last week, and his expected replacement will be Yosh Nijman, if Tom can’t dress down on Thursday. With Walker and Nijman both potentially pushed into the starting lineup, that would leave Caleb Jones — who was inactive in Week 1 and 2 — as the next man up as the team’s swing tackle.
Cornerback is another position that could be stressed, with Alexander and Valentine questionable and Eric Stokes (ankle) still on the physically unable to perform list. Up to this point of the season, including the preseason, Keisean Nixon has only been playing nickel cornerback — not outside cornerback. That leaves the Packers with one (1) single healthy outside cornerback on the roster in Rasul Douglas. There’s a decent chance here that Corey Ballentine is not only called up off of the practice squad this week but that Ballentine actually ends up starting at outside cornerback on Thursday.
As far as the Lions’ side of the injury report goes, starting running back David Montgomery, starting left tackle Taylor Decker, starting left guard Jonah Jackson, starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and starting safety Kerby Joseph were listed as questionable on Wednesday. Starting right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and swing tackle Matt Nelson were both ruled out.
Both teams are banged up, particularly on the offensive line and backfield, heading into this matchup.