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McCarthy looks for young players to take a jump in Detroit

Packers head coach met with media before Thursday's padded practice


GREEN BAY – With an injury report that lists 14 players, this Sunday's finale in Detroit could be significant for Trevor Davis and the other young players on the Packers' roster.

The team practiced without three receivers Wednesday, with Jordy Nelson (shoulder), Davante Adams (concussion) and Geronimo Allison (illness) all sitting out. Depending on how things unfold, Davis and their young core of receivers could be in line for more playing time against the Lions.

Thursday's final padded practice of the season will be a key indicator of whether the Packers will have the likes of Nelson, Jahri Evans and other injured veterans available, according to Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

If Nelson and Adams aren't able to play, that could mean more offensive reps for Davis. A fifth-round pick out of California a year ago, Davis has served as the Packers' primary kickoff and punt returner for most of the season, but has seen limited work on offense.

"He'll benefit from playing," McCarthy said. "You don't want to be a one-dimensional player. If you look at Trevor's first two years, when he comes into the game, everyone identifies the speed. He has to be able to do the other things – the quick gain, the double moves and the ability to run the crossing routes, and route discipline that goes with it. You don't want to be a guy who can just run deep. He's doing (those things). He's working hard at it."

Clark, an undrafted rookie out of Marshall, led the Packers with three catches for 36 yards last Sunday against Minnesota and could be in line for playing time, along with fourth-year receiver Jeff Janis.

The same situation could present itself at outside linebacker. While Clay Matthews (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday, Nick Perry continued to sit out with foot and shoulder injuries. Injuries at the position have opened up more snaps for second-year linebacker Kyler Fackrell, a former third-round pick who has 26 tackles and three sacks in 15 games (two starts).

"Kyler does everything right," McCarthy said. "He's very smart and intuitive, just cutting it loose and making the second and third reaction plays. I think you'll see that as he continues to develop. He had a good year in the weight room from the end of last season to this year. He needs to take another big step in there and I think it'll definitely show up in his game."

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