GREEN BAY – The day before Sunday's game in Detroit, backup offensive lineman Lucas Patrick signed a contract extension with the Packers.
Little did he know he'd be earning part of that new deal right away.
Patrick came in at center to replace an injured Corey Linsley (back) with just over 10 minutes left in the second quarter at Ford Field. His play against several different defenders was exemplary the rest of the way, as the following clips illustrate.
Play No. 1: Second-and-5 from the Green Bay 37, second quarter, 2:00 left
Result: 33-yard completion to WR Davante Adams
A center often doesn't have someone to block in pass protection immediately, but he has to be ready to react to someone coming his way. This is an example of that, as Lions DE Romeo Okwara is lined up on the outside shoulder of RG Billy Turner (77) but immediately jets to Turner's inside shoulder and tries to burst through the A gap between Patrick (62) and Turner. Patrick is more than ready for him, and QB Aaron Rodgers has the time and space to loft a nice sideline ball to Adams.
Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Detroit 30, second quarter, 1:55 left
Result: 10-yard run by RB Tyler Ervin
On the very next play, Patrick gets it done in the run game. LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (44) is lined up directly across from Patrick, and this one's a mismatch, as Patrick drives him back more than five yards while Ervin darts right up the middle for 10, setting up a field goal before halftime.
Play No. 3: First-and-15 from the Detroit 41, third quarter, 12:02 left
Result: Incomplete pass
These next two plays don't result in positive gains for the Packers, but they show solid work by Patrick in pass protection. Here he displays his agility by staying with DT John Atkins (99) for about six seconds before Rodgers fires deep for WR Allen Lazard, who unfortunately can't come down with the tough grab along the sideline.
Play No. 4: Third-and-7 from the Detroit 33, third quarter, 11:15 left
Result: Incomplete pass
Two snaps later is another example similar to Play No. 1, with a pass rusher crashing from the outside in. This time it's DE Austin Bryant (94) running a stunt from his wide alignment outside LT David Bakhtiari (69). Patrick alertly comes off a double-team with Turner to lock up Bryant, but Rodgers shot to the end zone for Ervin is just out of the running back's reach.
Play No. 5: Second-and-5 from the Green Bay 20, third quarter, 8:03 left
Result: 12-yard completion to TE Marcedes Lewis
Patrick spent a good portion of the game dealing with veteran DT Damon Harrison (98), one of the strongest interior linemen in the league. Here Patrick stands his ground for nearly five seconds with Harrison, allowing Rodgers to throw the checkdown to Lewis to keep the chains moving on the 95-yard TD drive that got the Packers back in the game.
Play No. 6: Second-and-7 from the Detroit 37, fourth quarter, 7:18 left
Result: 6-yard run by RB Aaron Jones
This is one heck of a run block against Harrison as Jones uses a nifty spin move to almost get the first down on the game-tying touchdown drive. Follow Patrick to the end of the play and you'll see how he finished this block.
Play No. 7: Third-and-10 from the Detroit 28, fourth quarter, 5:24 left
Result: 28-yard TD pass to Lazard
As mentioned, Veldheer also subbed in on the offensive line at right tackle. There isn't as much film of him, but this is a noteworthy play. As Veldheer is initially knocked backward by the rush of LB Anthony Pittman (57), the veteran tackle's balance and recovery are rather impressive. Despite an effective initial surge, Pittman doesn't get anywhere near Rodgers, and the Packers tie the game.