GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers tight end Josiah Deguara might have been lucky to have only sustained a concussion during Sunday’s season-opening loss to New Orleans.
“I’m just glad that Josiah, he seems to be in a good spot,” coach Matt LaFleur said on Monday, a day after a 38-3 defeat. “Obviously, he’s in the protocols so we’ll see how he advances through it.”
Deguara was injured on the second play of the third quarter. It appeared he took a knee to the back of the helmet while trying to execute a cut block on a run by Aaron Jones. Deguara laid on the turf for several minutes, with teammates kneeling by his side, before walking off on his own.
After missing most of last season with a torn ACL, Deguara played five snaps on offense and six on special teams on Sunday.
LaFleur wouldn’t go into detail on what happened but said, “I’m just happy he was able to walk off the field and he seems to be in a much better place today.”
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Safety Darnell Savage suffered a shoulder injury when he was tackled on the return of his overturned fourth-quarter interception. With the Packers hosting the Detroit Lions on Monday, LaFleur is hopeful the extra day will help Savage get back in the lineup.
Outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, who was cleared to play before the game after missing most of training camp with a back injury, had one tackle in 18 snaps. His one impact play, a big-time hit on quarterback Jameis Winston that helped create Savage’s interception, was eliminated with a suspect roughing-the-passer penalty.
“I thought Z did some really good things in that game,” LaFleur said. “Hopefully, he’ll be able to practice a little bit more for us and be able to take more snaps in the game. You can certainly feel his presence when he’s out there. I thought he played pretty physical and made a couple splash plays in the run game. I thought he hit Jameis on the pick, which I thought was pretty clean but apparently the official disagreed.”
Meanwhile, the Lions will be without cornerback Jeff Okudah, who sustained a ruptured Achilles during the opening loss to San Francisco. Third-round rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu figures to move into the lineup.
“I hate that for him (Okudah),” Lions coach Dan Campbell told reporters in Detroit on Monday. “He put in a lot of hard work. He really improved a ton from spring till now. Look, I hate it for him first and I hate it for us as a team because he was really coming around. That’s one of those things that we’ve got to adapt to, and it is what it is and now we’ve got to move on.”