The Quick and The Dead – Injuries Will Plague The NFC North Championship

This weekend will see more injuries in the final week of an NFL season-ender than we’ve seen for several years. Unfortunately for Green Bay and Detroit, they’re not immune.

As the two current leaders of the NFC North prepare for the fight of their seasons, the injury reserve looks like a who’s-who of the NFL. With the list of hold-outs for this weekend’s game, interests are peaked. Who’s actually going to play? ESPN.com has an official list of the current IR here.

Even more telling than the injury report is the list of key players that are playing injured (Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews) or simply gone for the season (Eddie Lacy) gives a clearer view of how close the contest will be. Green Bay is a playoff beast and they know better than to risk their biggest players having season-ending injuries. Still, they will have to play their stars to win the game against a hungry Detroit roster.

Detroit has lost star RB Theo Riddick for the last quarter of the season, a couple of must-haves are likely to be back on the field. WR Andre Roberts is a favorite target of Matthew Stafford’s downfield. We expect him to rack up some yardage and add to his TD total to close out. CB Darius Slay has come on late this season to make key plays for the Lions and close out games in spectacular fashion, assigning him the moniker “Big-Play Slay”. That’s one you gotta earn.

How the Chips Fall

The Packers will keep the corn off the Randall Cobb for the last game. Demarious Randall is going to ride the pine as well, so Green Bay is taking a hit on both sides of the ball. Detroit isn’t sitting their players, they know the stakes better than anyone.  The playoff picture is still open enough for both of these teams to make it in. Green Bay will be cautious and leave the door open for Detroit to set up a famous 4th-quarter comeback kid. Trail for the first half, start rolling for the second and the Lions can take home their first division title in almost a quarter-century.

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