Green Bay Packers set for Jamaal Williams reunion as they face Detroit Lions in search of first win of 2021

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Green Bay face their own questions on defense after outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith was placed on injured reserve with a back injury that had been troubling him throughout training camp.

The absence of Smith, who has 26 sacks over the last two seasons, puts the onus on Preston Smith and 2019 first-round outside linebacker Rashan Gary to create pressure on Jared Goff off the edge.

“Just the energy Z brings and the leadership he brings for as a unit and team,” said Gary when asked what the team would be losing in Smith. “He’s a high motive, high energy guy and everybody feeds off him so everybody is going to miss his energy. We also know we hold ourselves to certain standards so energy cannot fall, everybody has the mindset.”

Gary had 34 tackles, five sacks and 11 quarterback hits and one fumble recovery last season, while Preston Smith registered 42 tackles, four sacks, 11 quarterback hits and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said this week that 2020 seventh-round pick Jonathan Garvin and 2020 undrafted free agent Chauncey Rivers will also be expected to contribute.

“Rashan definitely brings a lot of energy and a lot of juice every time we step out on that field and I think that he is still a young player but he’s got his own way of leading and he’s a lead by example type of guy,” said LaFleur. “He puts in the work, he gives great effort, you can always feel his energy each and every day and we’re lucky to have a guy like that.”

Watch the Lions at the Packers as both teams look for their first victory of the season in Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.15am in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

For the latest news, features and interviews, stay across skysports.com/nfl and on follow us on Twitter @SkySportsNFL.

Sourse: skysports.com

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