Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Robert Francois tore the Achilles tendon in his right foot during Sunday’s 22-9 win over Detroit and likely will be lost for the rest of the season.
Francois, a special-teams stalwart, was called into action on defense when Brad Jones left in the first half with a hamstring injury. They were the first defensive snaps Francois had seen since a 46-16 win over Oakland on Dec. 11, 2011.
The injury occurred near the end of the third quarter when Francois was rushing off the left side before falling back awkwardly on a block by Corey Hilliard on a Reggie Bush run off right tackle.
Francois wasn’t talking to the media in the locker room after the game, but was on crutches with his right foot in a boot.
“I feel terrible about Robert’s situation. He was the first one to step up,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
The Packers’ only other injury was a big one as Clay Matthews left with a thumb injury on the final play of the third quarter on a 12-yard sack of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Going into Sunday’s game, Francois had played all 73 of his snaps this season on special teams with two tackles and a forced fumble, but also was the next man up at both Hawk and Jones’ positions.
When he left after a handful of plays, he was relieved by another special-teams mainstay, Jamari Lattimore, who finished with a tackle.
Jones was having a good game with three tackles (two for a loss) and a sack of Stafford. He tweaked a hamstring in a preseason game against Seattle in August.
If Jones is out for any amount of time, that would leave Lattimore and rookie Sam Barrington as the remaining inside linebackers on the roster. If Francois is placed on injured reserve, the Packers also could bring back 2012 fifth-round pick Terrell Manning, a training camp cut who’s on San Diego’s practice squad.