DE Zettel licking his chops for shot at Lambeau debut

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Defensive lineman Anthony Zettel could see action against the Packers this Sunday.

Allen Park — When the Detroit Lions opted to keep six defensive ends on the 53-man roster, it was clear there would be a numbers game every Sunday. Someone was going to have to sit.

Through two weeks, that’s been rookie Anthony Zettel, the team’s sixth-round draft pick out of Penn State.

But with Ziggy Ansah hurting, likely to miss this Sunday’s contest in Green Bay, and Brandon Copeland being asked to help provide depth at linebacker while that group deals with numerous injuries, it’s opening the door for Zettel to potentially make his debut.

“It’s a different feeling because my whole life, when I’ve been healthy, I’ve been on the field,” Zettel said. “But you also have to know your role and just know that your time is coming.

“I think I’ve been prepared to go out there and perform every week,” he said. “When my time comes, whether it’s this week or whenever it is, I think I’m going to be ready and well prepared to step up and help my team win.”

Lions vs. Packers preview: Backups need to step up

Zettel, a West Branch native, grew up a Lions fan. The opportunity to make his debut on the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field, against an NFC North rival, would be a nice way to kick off a career.

“I’ve never been to Lambeau, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about the tradition,” he said. “It’s going to be excited if they activate me and allow me to get after it. It will be a big part of my life and everything I’ve worked toward.”

Even better would be recording his first sack against Aaron Rodgers.

“I dream about it all the time,” Zettel said. “If I get that opportunity, I just need to use everything I’ve learned in practice and from the veterans. If it comes, it will be a great thing, but more importantly, I want that sack to help the defense and help us win the game.”

Twitter: @justin_rogers