Robert Francois was the first man in when Jones was injured Sunday against Detroit, but the reserve linebacker tore his Achilles and is out for the season. So now the next man up is third year linebacker Jamari Lattimore. Lattimore moved to inside linebacker from outside this season, but has mostly been used on special teams during his time in Green Bay. Sunday will be his first start on defense.
"It’s not much of a difference because I take my approach that way in practice, to try and get better each and every day," Lattimore said at his unusually crowded locker this week. "It’s a big chance for everybody, not necessarily me. For anyone that steps on the field, whether it’s your first time or you’re a veteran, it’s always important because you get a chance to make the plays. That’s how I look at it."
Head Coach Mike McCarthy says Lattimore is prepared for this chance to play with the starters on defense.
"Jamari has played very good football for us,” McCarthy said. “It's more the product of the guy who is playing in front of him. You look at the preseason tape, he’s played the last two years and he’s been an outstanding special-teams player. He’s ready to go and this will be a huge opportunity for him.”
It won't be easy replacing the second leading tackler on the team, but Jones himself got his first opportunity to start inside after the injury of Desmond Bishop last season. Whether Lattimore takes advantage the same way remains to be seen.
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