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10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: How will run game look this week?

Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: I've got good news and bad news to start the week.

Let's start with the good news. Both cornerback Darius Slay and center Travis Swanson returned to practice on Wednesday. Swanson's missed the last three games with a concussion, and Slay the last two with a hamstring.

We'll have to monitor both of their progress as the week goes on, but it's certainly good news for both to start the week.

The news isn't as good for Riddick. He's missed the last three games with a wrist injury and didn't take part in practice Wednesday. Again, we'll see if he returns later on this week, but it's not a good sign for him that he's sitting out to begin preparation for the Packers.

20man: Definitely Riddick.

This is an entirely different Lions passing offense without him. He's such a mismatch in Detroit's favor that defenses have to account for him and game plan against him. Coverage is different when he's on the field. It's hard to play a ton of man with a linebacker responsible for Riddick.

Detroit's also really misses him in the red zone. Those option routes are tough to cover, and he and Matthew Stafford have a great feel for them. Him being on the field opens things up for wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the slot and Eric Ebron from the tight end position.

A wrist injury is a tough one for a player like Riddick. Not only does it affect how he catches the football, but ball security becomes a huge issue too. If he's not right, the Lions can't risk any issues with ball security in a game of this magnitude.

20man: I guess the one thing I can say about this particular team is they've been full of surprises.

Who thought they'd be in a position to control their own destiny and win the division after starting 1-3?

They've found a way to win eight games this season when trailing in the fourth quarter. Who does that?

Did anyone expect them to go into New Orleans – and I don't care what the Saints record is, that's a great passing offense – and do what they did to Drew Brees and Co.?

I know it was last year, but no one had them going into Lambeau and breaking that 20-plus-year drought in the state of Wisconsin at 1-7.

The point is, it's football, and you just never know.

This team plays pretty well at home. I expect Ford Field to be the loudest it's ever been. Maybe this team has a few more surprises left in them.

20man: Isn't football a weird game? It really is a week-to-week sport.

Adjustments are made in every game and whoever adapts better typically wins the game. I thought the last two weeks New York and Dallas made the better adjustments. That's just an honest assessment. They did a better job of putting their players in a position to make plays and win the game.

The stats say the Lions could have an easier time passing against Green Bay's 29th-ranked pass defense instead of trying to run against a Top 10 unit, but honestly, who knows going in. It depends on so many factors like health, game plan and matchups.

I will say this, in a game of this magnitude that decides a division title, I'd rather win it or lose it with the ball in my best player's hands. The best player on this football team is Stafford, even if he's struggled lately.

20man: They can, and they'll know if they're in or not before kickoff Sunday night.

If the Washington Redskins lose at home against the New York Giants, both the Lions and Packers are in no matter the outcome of their game.

One factor in that Washington/Giants game, however, is that New York has already clinched the playoffs and is locked into the No. 5 seed. Will they play their starters?

Will this be the loudest game in Ford Field history? @ttwentyman #10questions — Brendan J. Ryan  (@BrendanRyanMAGA) December 28, 2016

20man: Right now the title belongs to that Monday Night Football game vs. Chicago in 2011. It was so loud, the Bears ended up with nine false start penalties.

That Monday game in 2011 was the first time I left a game I was covering, got home, and my ears were still ringing.

I would expect Sunday night to rival that game, at least early on. If it doesn't, Lions fans didn't do their part.

It will depend on how the Lions come out and play early on whether it stays loud.

20man: He was sacked four times and hit 10 times total by the Cowboys. Right after a physical game like that, the effects are going to be felt.

I've seen Stafford hardly able to walk up the steps to the podium because his ribs hurt so badly after a game. He was back on the field the next week.

He's a pretty tough guy, and he should be good to go Sunday night.

20man: I disagree. A 60 percent Slay is not a better option. Not this week against Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Co.

Also, hamstring injuries can be fickle things. The Lions don't want to get into a situation where Slay injures it further and then it becomes something chronic -- certainly not after signing a four-year extension this year.

Slay was back at practice Wednesday in limited fashion. That's good news. If Slay can play at a level where he's not a risk to the game plan or to further injury, he'll play. If not, he won't play, and someone else has to step up.

20man: Well, funny you ask that, Chad.

The Lions signed Crezdon Butler Wednesday morning and placed defensive tackle Stefan Charles (knee) on IR.

Butler was last with the Lions in the preseason. He played eight games with Detroit last season, so he knows the scheme and should be able to step right in if needed.

Remember it was Butler who preserved the win in Green Bay last year by knocking away that two-point conversion attempt late in the game.

If Slay is able to return Sunday night, that would obviously be a big boost.

20man: I sure he has played in an all-or-nothing game to end the regular season, but it's easier just to look at his playoff record. This is essentially a playoff game.

In 14 career playoff games, Rodgers has an 8-6 record. He's completed 64 percent of his passes for 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 98.2 passer rating. He also won a title in 2009.

What should scare Lions fans more than all that is how Rodgers is playing right now.

He has 1,718 yards (286.3 per game) with 14 touchdowns and no interceptions with a 118.8 rating in his past six games. Green Bay's won five straight.

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