(Eds: With AP Photos.) The Green Bay Packers are about to find out if their defense truly is deeper than it was last season.
The Packers ranked dead last in the NFL in yards allowed in 2011, prompting general manager Ted Thompson to use his first six draft picks on defensive players and add two more rookie defenders via free agency.
Some of those rookies, along with several holdovers whose defensive roles have been limited to this point, will likely see action Sunday against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.
The Packers will be without four starters on defense: inside linebacker D.J. Smith, who was placed on injured reserve this week with a knee injury; outside linebacker and rookie first-round pick Nick Perry (knee); cornerback Sam Shields (shin/ankle); and defensive tackle B.J. Raji (ankle).
Smith, Perry and Shields were injured last Sunday at Houston, while Raji missed that game with the ankle injury he suffered at Indianapolis on Oct. 7.
Fourth-year veteran Brad ...