ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - If the Packers are up late studying film and gameplanning this week, Kevin Smith is to blame.
A short week for the Lions means less time to prepare for the reigning Super Bowl champions. But the Packers have the same amount of time to get ready for a Lions team with an added wrinkle: a running game.
After rushing for a career high 140 yards and finding the end zone three times Sunday, Smith was still pinching himself when he got done with the team's practice Monday.
"I was still in awe that I was on the field, and I scored a touchdown. And we won," Smith said.
His teammates had an overwhelming sense of happiness seeing one of their own fight back to such a prominent role so quickly.
"It was awesome," Tony Scheffler said.
"On a personal basis, Kevin's a really hard working dude, and we know that. We knew that. He came in ready to play and we didn't expect anything else from him."
All season, the Lions have dealt with criticisms of a lack of consistent running game. Smith provided a boost of confidence in the team's locker room.
"[He] definitely silenced those questions for a while. He's playing like a man on fire," Nate Burleson said.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford said after Sunday's win playing with Smith healthy in the win over Carolina was a welcomed experience. The Lions signal caller said he was used to playing with an injured Smith in their two years together.
Monday, Stafford echoed those sentiments, and looked ahead to what a healthy Kevin Smith would mean to the team's offense.
"He did great, breaking tackles. He did a great job. If we could get that kind of effort out of him every week, obviously that would be a great thing" Stafford said with a smile.
Career highs across the board will be a tough act for Smith to follow. But if the running back can provide a consistent effort to go with the Lions passing attack, his team will be in a much better position to add a very needed new chapter to its Thanksgiving day history.
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