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What You Might've Missed: Youth stepping forward

Young players on Packers’ defense had a presence in Detroit


GREEN BAY – The Packers' defense had its share of ups and downs once again Sunday in Detroit, but the overall showing was solid enough.

A few young players on defense made their presence felt at different moments, and the team's injury situation could thrust even more playing time on them as the season continues.

Here's a sampling, in chronological order.

Play No. 1: Second-and-8 from the Detroit 22, second quarter, 14:20 left

Result: 4-yard run by RB Justin Jackson

This is still a productive play for the Lions, but it looks like it could be a lot worse if not for what rookie LB Kingsley Enagbare (55) does on the edge. Enagbare effectively dodges the block of TE Brock Wright (89) cutting across the formation, but otherwise the Lions have this play pretty well blocked on the front side. Enagbare's disruption in the backfield slows up Jackson momentarily and forces him to cut inside, allowing the backside pursuit of CB Keisean Nixon (25) to trip him up before he can really get going.

Play No. 2: Second-and-5 from the Green Bay 14, second quarter, :59 left

Result: 1-yard run by RB Jamaal Williams

Second-year LB Isaiah McDuffie (58) has played his share of snaps the past two weeks in the midst of De'Vondre Campbell's absence, and he's often held his own. Here, he deftly dodges the block attempt from hard-charging RG Evan Brown (63), quickly fills the hole, and drives Williams to the turf.

Play No. 3: Second-and-15 from the Detroit 25, third quarter, 4:43 left

Result: Incomplete pass

Now it's rookie DL Devonte Wyatt (95) getting in on the action, as he powers his way past LG Jonah Jackson (73) to get a hand on QB Jared Goff's pass, forcing it to fall harmlessly to the turf.

Play No. 4: First-and-10 from the Detroit 30, third quarter, 4:34 left

Result: 3-yard run by Williams

More good work here from Enagbare, as he stands up Wright on the block attempt, sheds him, and wraps up Williams for a short gain. Not analyzed here are two other notable plays Enagbare, a fifth-round draft pick from South Carolina, made in this game – a sack that was unfortunately wiped out by his own incidental, and practically unavoidable, roughing the passer penalty when his hand hit a falling Goff in the head; and a drawn holding call in the fourth quarter.

Play No. 5: Second-and-7 from the Green Bay 42, third quarter, 1:52 left

Result: 1-yard run by Williams

Back to Wyatt, a first-round pick from Georgia, as he displays some of his athleticism in the trenches, spinning off the block of LT Taylor Decker (68) to help clog the running lane and get in on the tackle. Big props to the effort by DL T.J. Slaton (93) next to Wyatt here, as he's getting blocked by the lineman Jackson but manages to reach an arm out to start slowing down Williams.

Play No. 6: First-and-10 from the Detroit 36, fourth quarter, 5:41 left

Result: 1-yard run by Williams

One more from McDuffie, the 2021 sixth-round pick from Boston College, whose anticipation makes this play. He darts his way to the hole, beating the block attempt by Jackson and swallows up Williams. It's also worth pointing out the effort by veteran DL Jarran Reed (90), who gets chipped by Jackson, but like Wyatt on the previous play, spins off the block to get himself right back into the play.