Packers sticking with Darrius Shepherd at punt returner

Matt LaFleur is standing by Darrius Shepherd.

The Green Bay Packers coach said Wednesday that Shepherd would remain the team’s punt returner despite a poor decision that led to a lost fumble against Detroit.

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“We’ll stick with Darrius,” LaFleur said. “We trust him. It’s unfortunate it happened. All you can do is learn from it.”

The play happened in the third quarter and the Packers trailing. Shepherd didn’t call for a fair catch, tried to catch the ball over his head and then was rocked by one of the Detroit defenders. The ball went flying and the Packers were unable to get back on top of it. The Lions eventually kicked a field goal on the drive.

“He’s a young player,” LaFleur said. “I don’t think you just cut the cord off one mistake. I know he’s disappointed but I’m sure he’s ready to get back out there.”

Shepherd took over as the punt returner when Green Bay traded Trevor Davis to Oakland prior to Week 3 and had just one return before his mistake against Detroit. The undrafted free agent also served as the team’s kick returner against the Lions following the release of Tremon Smith. He averaged 17.4 yards over five returns.

Green Bay will face Davis and the Raiders this Sunday at Lambeau Field.

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