this Sept. 8th file photo, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay
Matthews (52) gestures during an NFL football game against the
San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco. The Packers' bye week
did wonders for Matthews and his sore hamstring.
GREEN BAY - Ask
Darren Perry about Calvin Johnson and the Green Bay Packers'
safeties coach cuts right to the chase.
doggone good and he can create some problems in a lot of different
areas," a smiling Perry said of the standout Lions wide
receiver. "So we have to account for him."
Perry said the
Packers' defense, which has given up a lot of passing yards already
this season, will have its hands full against one of the NFL's more
prolific passing attacks. He is hopeful the return of safety Morgan
Burnett can make a difference Sunday when the Packers host Johnson,
quarterback Matthew Stafford and the rest of the Detroit Lions.
season debut after missing Green Bay's first three games because of
a hamstring injury comes just in time. NFC North co-leader Detroit
(3-1) is looking to end a 22-game road losing streak against its
division rival. The Lions' last win over the Packers (1-2) in
Wisconsin was in 1991.
huge," Perry said about having Burnett back on the field.
"It gives you a sense of comfort and a sense of excitement
because I know he wants to be out there, and that's going to be a
big lift for our defense."
Touted by defensive
coordinator Dom Capers as the quarterback of the Packers' defense,
Burnett is eager to go against Johnson, a fellow Georgia Tech
going to be a fun game," said Burnett, a fourth-year player.
"All of the division games are always tough. You know it's
going to be a heated rivalry. But that's the NFL. You know it's
going to be a good competition out there, and you've got to take
advantage of that and use that opportunity to get better as a
Not only will Green
Bay have its projected starting secondary together for the first
time this season, but the Packers' defense is almost at full
strength following a week off for the bye. Star linebacker Clay
Matthews, who dropped out of Green Bay's last game Sept. 22 with a
recurring hamstring injury, also is probable for Sunday after
practicing the last two days.
looks good with Clay Matthews," coach Mike McCarthy said.
"I fully expect him to play. I have no reason to believe he's
not ready to go."
The Lions, who
added versatile running back Reggie Bush in the offseason, rank
fifth in the NFL with an average of 309 passing yards per game and
also are among the league leaders in scoring (30.5 points per game).
While McCarthy gave high praise to the Lions as a whole, the primary
focus is stopping the receiver dubbed Megatron.
Just in the Lions'
last three visits to Green Bay, Johnson has 27 catches for 448 yards
and three touchdowns.
"I don't know
if you can truly stop him, but you certainly can do some things to
try to limit his explosiveness," Perry said. "We'll have
our hands full, but our guys are looking forward to the challenge.
And just like every week in the National Football League, you've got
to be at your best, otherwise you're subject to being embarrassed if
The Packers have
allowed 311 passing yards per game, fifth worst in the 32-team
league. Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams said the return of
Burnett, who received a four-year contract extension from the
Packers for nearly $25 million in July, is "a big boost for our
"He brings so
much to the defense — covers the field well back there, plays the
run well," Williams added. "For him to be back, (it's)
definitely a good thing. (It) gives you a sense of comfort, enables
you to play the game that you want to play and not think about