Thursday, October 3, 2013
Starter Pack: Big day for Matthews
By Rob Demovsky
A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.
Indications are that linebacker Clay Matthews’ hamstring injury was nowhere near as serious as last season, when he missed four games because of it.
The Packers officially listed Matthews as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice but given that Matthews didn’t take part in the portion of practice that was open to the media, there’s no way to know what exactly he did on the field.
According to coach Mike McCarthy, who said after practice that Matthews has made significant progress since he was injured nearly two weeks ago at Cincinnati, Thursday’s practice may provide an opportunity to see a little more from the star of his defense.
“I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to do more (on Thursday),” McCarthy said. “That’s the plan.”
Typically, Thursday is the Packers’ longest and most involved practice of the week. McCarthy often uses it as a barometer to gauge the progress of injured players, so we could have a better feel for Matthews' status for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
Wednesdays are often the busiest day of the week, and this was no exception. Our ESPN.com coverage included the return of tight end Jermichael Finley, who passed all the concussion tests and said the hit he took from Bengals safety George Iloka was not dirty (even though Iloka was fined), a look at how the Packers’ streak of 22 straight home wins over the Lions is being viewed by the two teams, how the Packers want to set the tone against the Lions and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh without going over the edge and drawing penalties, the injury report leading with more woes for oft-injured running back James Starks, a look at the short-term and long-term options at kick returner, the weekly QB Watch examining trends in Aaron Rodgers’ play and finally a video look at some of the issues facing the Packers this week.
ESPN.com Lions reporter Michael Rothstein looked at the maturation of running back Reggie Bush, who has come a long way since he first played at Lambeau Field in the second game of his rookie season and continued his series highlighting some of the Lions’ close calls during their Wisconsin losing streak, this time looking at the 2005 overtime affair between two bad teams.
In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Pete Dougherty wrote that regardless of whether Matthews plays against the Lions or not, the Packers are looking for more pass rush from guys like rookie Datone Jones and second-year pro Mike Daniels, and Weston Hodkiewicz talked to some of the defensive players about the challenges that Bush presents.
In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tom Silverstein wrote that Starks’ injury opened the door for the Packers to run with rookie backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, and Tyler Dunne wrote about the challenges the revamped interior of the Packers’ offensive line faces when squaring off against Suh and Nick Fairley.