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Lions vs. Packers preview pod: Why Luke Musgrave injury is critical

The Green Bay Packers are facing the Detroit Lions with a huge list of injuries, but the one to tight end Luke Musgrave is biggest of all.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are a better team than the Green Bay Packers. That much was made clear by both the first matchup between the two teams (Lions won 34-20) and the teams’ current overall record (Lions: 8-2; Packers: 4-6). But as we enter the Week 12 matchup between the two teams, another factor heavily favors the Lions: health.

On Tuesday’s injury report, only one of the Lions’ 53 players was not a full participant in practice: left guard Jonah Jackson. The Packers, on the other hand, have 14 players who were either listed as limited or a non-participant in Tuesday’s walkthrough. Here’s a look at the latest report:

Did not practice:

  • RB Aaron Jones
  • RB Emanuel Wilson
  • TE Josiah Deguara
  • TE Luke Musgrave
  • WR Dontayvion Wicks
  • LB De’Vondre Campbell

Limited in practice:

  • RB AJ Dillon
  • WR Jayden Reed
  • G Elgton Jenkins
  • NT Kenny Clark
  • CB Jaire Alexander
  • DB Keisean Nixon
  • S Rudy Ford
  • S Darnell Savage

That’s a ton of injured players, several of which are key components to the Packers’ mild success this year.

So to help us weed through these injuries, and give us a sense of how serious they are—and the players who may be stepping in on Thursday—we brought back our friend Dusty Evely from Cheesehead TV.

Evely talked about how Musgrave’s injury—a lacerated kidney that he PLAYED THROUGH last week—could be the most impactful of all.

“That’s a big hit,” Evely said. “They’ve been using him exactly like you’d think on the receiving side—a lot of seam-structure stuff that he’s been really, really good at. Mismatch for linebackers and a really good feel in zone stuff, too. Was getting better about sitting down in zone, running away from man. He’s been a big, big get for them and a huge part of their offense. That’s a big loss.”

We break down all of the relevant matchups in the podcast below. You can listen to it on any podcasting platform you’d like, or you can catch the video replay with bonus footage on our YouTube and Twitch pages.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.