GREEN BAY —
Green Bay Packers cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams are
bracing for another matchup with Calvin Johnson.
Twice a season,
the cornerbacks brace themselves to face one of the best receivers
in the NFL.
The Detroit Lions
have a new coach in Jim Caldwell, but Johnson hasn't changed. The
NFC North rivals meet Sunday in Detroit.
beast," Shields said Thursday. "You know when he does
catch it, we've just got to tackle him."
enough. Yet nothing is simple about defending Detroit's 6-foot-5
Johnson has 13
catches for 247 yards with two touchdowns this season. He has 71
catches for 1,163 yards and 12 scores in 12 games against Green
Williams are both 5-foot-11. While they may have the speed to keep
up, the Packers' cornerback duo can't measure up by height with
Johnson a bit tough to tackle, so wrapping up low will be
important to slow down Johnson. Watch out for the stiff-arm, too.
Bay Packers' Tramon Williams intercepts a pass intended for
New York Jets' Zach Sudfeld during the first half of an NFL
football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
(does) catch it, don't let him run after the catch," Shields
said. "Just get him down right there, and not let him get big
Maybe the gray
T-shirt that Williams wore after practice on Thursday is a sign of
the matchup to come. The shirt had a picture of one of the robotic
vehicle heads from the "Transformers" movie series.
nickname is "Megatron," the villain in the
intimidating. You just hope it don't happen," Williams said.
"When I see that ball in the air, I'm going to say to myself,
'It's my ball and I'm going to go get it.' Now, if we go up and we
battle for it, it's a different story.
the game is about — battles. I feel that I have the same amount
of ability to go get the ball as anybody else," Williams
Now for all the
consternation about Johnson, the Packers have still had success
against Detroit. Green Bay is 10-2 since 2007 against the Lions
when Johnson plays.
This year, the
Lions have a new coach, along with a new complement for Johnson in
the receiving group in Golden Tate.
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson runs for a 67-yard
touchdown reception in the first quarter during an NFL
football game against the New York Giants in Detroit,
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
that it does sort of tip the scales a little bit to keep the
double-coverage off of him," Caldwell said. "And
obviously when that occurs, he's pretty hard to handle. I would
anticipate that teams would use double coverage and things of that
nature, try to roll to his side."
The Packers also
have to account for the multifaceted Reggie Bush out of the
backfield. Their secondary, though, should be at full strength
after safety Micah Hyde returned to practice Thursday as a full
participant. He was limited on Wednesday with a knee injury.
No matter who is
on the field, Johnson presents a stern test.
cover a bigger guy, he's probably going to be stronger than you.
Obviously, he's going to be bigger. You never want to be overly
aggressive with him," Williams said.
Notes: B.J. Raji
said that the recovery for his torn right biceps tendon could take
from six to nine months. Raji, who is out for the year after
getting hurt in the preseason, had signed a one-year deal in the
offseason to stay in Green Bay. "I would love to be a Packer,
but obviously who knows at this point. I'm more worried about my
rehab and just being around the team and trying to be a help to
the young guys," Raji said. ... CB Casey Hayward returned to
practice on a limited basis after missing a day. ... RT Bryan
Bulaga (left) was limited for a second straight day.
GREEN BAY —
Defensive lineman B.J. Raji will need six to nine months to return
from right biceps surgery, though it's unclear if he'll be back
with the Green Bay Packers.
Thursday he had surgery recently to reattach a tendon following
the injury last month during a preseason game. It knocked Raji out
for the 2014 season.
Raji had signed a
one-year deal in the offseason to remain in Green Bay. He was
having a good training camp after being moved back to nose tackle
veteran from Boston College said he would love to remain a Packer,
though he's concentrating on his recovery and helping younger
Green Bay teammates on the line.
Green Bay drafted
Raji in the first round in 2009.
knowing how this league and life works, you can never count
anything out. It's obviously crossed my mind ... potentially I
could be seeing my last games at Lambeau" Field, Raji said.
"I've thought about it, but it's not my primary concern at
Raji said he must
wait for scar tissue to heal before starting the rehab process,
but doctors have assured him that he'll return to full strength.
recovery is not really an issue," Raji said. "We're
almost certain that I'll be able to be back at 100 percent."