NFL Nation: Greg Van Roten

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Sometimes, NFL players outperform their contracts.

Without tearing up those deals, there is a way for players who fit that description to earn more money. It’s called the NFL's performance-based pay distribution in which each team can allot a total of $3.46 million in additional play to its players.

It typically benefits players in their first NFL contracts or minimum-salaried free-agent signings who become key contributors.

For example, Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari, a fourth-round pick with a base salary of $405,000 last year, will receive an additional $256,882.22 in performance-based pay, according to documents obtained by Bakhtiari started every game last season as a rookie. He received the largest pay increases among Packers' players. According to the NFL, those payments will be made on April 1, 2016.

The smallest distribution to a Packers' player went to backup tackle Derek Sherrod, who will receive $2,154.55. He was active for seven games but only took six snaps on offense all season.

Here’s a list of the top-10 and bottom-10 performance-based bonuses on the Packers’ roster:

Top 10
Bottom 10
BALTIMORE -- With Clay Matthews out because of a broken thumb, there was never a question about who would start at the two outside linebacker spots for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Packers said all week they would go with the combination of Mike Neal and Nick Perry.

It was only a matter of who would play in Matthews’ spot on the right side of the defensive formation. That will be Perry, who returns to the side he played in college as a defensive end at USC. The lineup was announced along with the inactives.

It means Perry will square off against left tackle Eugene Monroe, who will make his first start for the Ravens since he was traded by Jacksonville. Monroe replaced veteran Bryant McKinnie.

Perry opened the season as the starter on the left side but lost that spot last week against the Detroit Lions, when Neal made his first start.

Playing first in a backup role against the Lions and then in place of Matthews, Perry had two sacks -- both from the right side.

Here’s the full list of Packers inactives:
GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers will start two backup linebackers on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

With all the focus on the loss of starting outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who underwent surgery Monday on his broken right thumb and will miss “multiple weeks,” according to coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers also were forced to deal with another hamstring injury to starting inside linebacker Brad Jones.

The Packers ruled out Jones for Sunday’s game. Third-year pro Jamari Lattimore, a college defensive end who made the Packers as an undrafted free agent and outside linebacker, will make his first career start. He and Jones both moved from outside linebacker to the inside position before the 2012 season.

Lattimore was actually third on the depth chart last week but played 16 snaps in Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions after Jones went down and his replacement, Robert Francois, sustained a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.

Jones, who was slowed by a hamstring injury during training camp, pulled the hamstring in his other leg against the Lions.

“I have no reason to believe it’s going to be very long based on the discussions [Tuesday] with our medical staff,” McCarthy said. “He will not be available this week, and hopefully we feel better about it next week.”

The Packers had only three outside linebackers available for Wednesday’s practice. In addition to Matthews, they also were without Andy Mulumba (ankle), who played 17 snaps against the Lions. Mike Neal and Nick Perry will start at the two outside spots against the Ravens.

Cornerback Casey Hayward, who appeared close to returning last week from a hamstring injury that has kept him out all season, may try to practice on Thursday, McCarthy said.

“He’s getting better; a little sore after what he went through last week,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see where he is tomorrow. This time last week, he was able to do some individual work on Thursday. So that's the hope.”

Here’s the full injury report:
  • CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring, did not practice)
  • CB Casey Hayward (hamstring, did not practice)
  • LB Brad Jones (hamstring, out)
  • OLB Clay Matthews (thumb, out)
  • OLB Andy Mulumba (ankle, did not practice)
  • RB James Starks (knee, out)
  • OL Greg Van Roten (foot, out)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The return of Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward appears to be on hold.

Hayward, who went through a workout in pads last Thursday to test his injured hamstring, was back on the sideline during the portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to reporters.

It’s unclear if Hayward experienced a setback during last week’s workout or if he just isn’t ready to return.

The hamstring has been an issue since July, when he pulled it while training on his own shortly before training camp opened. He missed the first month of camp and then reinjured his hamstring during his first -- and only -- preseason appearance on Aug. 23 against Seattle.

The Packers were thin at linebacker on Wednesday, when they were missing starters Clay Matthews (thumb) and Brad Jones (hamstring). Also, backup Andy Mulumba was not practicing for reasons unknown.

The Packers were down to just three outside linebackers -- Mike Neal, Nick Perry and Nate Palmer.

Also not practicing were running back James Starks (knee) and backup offensive lineman Greg Van Roten (foot).

We'll have the full injury report after practice.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the second time in four games this season, Green Bay Packers veteran defensive end C.J. Wilson was a healthy scratch.

Wilson did not play in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins and won’t play on Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.

The fourth-year pro spent most of last season as one of the Packers’ starting ends in their base defense, but has seen his playing time decrease significantly with the return of Johnny Jolly from a three-year suspension.

Deactivating Wilson could be a sign that the Packers were planning to play a lot of their nickel and dime packages, which require only two defensive linemen instead of their base 3-4. That plan likely centered around covering Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, but the news of Johnson being inactive with a knee injury may leave the Packers scrambling.

Here's the Packers' full inactive list:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- After linebacker Clay Matthews dropped out of the Green Bay Packers' most recent game at Cincinnati a week and a half ago because of a hamstring injury, he insisted he would be fine for the next game after the bye week.

"I don't see myself missing any time," Matthews said in a postgame interview Sept. 22. "We've got Detroit coming back, and I'll be out there."

There's reason to doubt that now.

Matthews was not on the practice field during the portion of Wednesday's session that was open to reporters. His history of hamstring injuries leaves Matthews' status for Sunday's game against the Lions in jeopardy. The Packers' defensive star missed four games last season and one game in 2010 because of the same injury.

Also not practicing were running back James Starks, cornerback Casey Hayward and backup offensive lineman Greg Van Roten. Starks sustained a knee injury against the Bengals. Hayward has not played yet this season because of a hamstring injury. Van Roten's injury was not immediately known.

The Packers got some good news Wednesday, when tight end Jermichael Finley returned to practice. He was cleared after sustaining a concussion against the Bengals. Also back were cornerback/special teams ace Jarrett Bush (hamstring) and fullback John Kuhn (hamstring).

Safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring) and running back Eddie Lacy (concussion) also practiced. They returned Monday, when the Packers held their first post-bye workout.

We'll have the full injury report following practice later Wednesday.

Injury report: Finley plans to play

September, 11, 2013
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Jermichael Finley injured his big toe on the third play of Sunday’s game at San Francisco and didn’t miss any plays because of it, so the Green Bay Packers tight end figures he should be fine for this week’s game against Washington.

Still, it was problematic enough to keep Finley out of practice on Wednesday.

The injury occurred on Finley’s first catch of the game, a 9-yard reception on third-and-17 against 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who tackled Finley near the sideline. Finley said Willis landed on his heel and his toes were bent backwards.

“I’ll be all right,” Finley said. “I played, what? 62 plays.”

Actually, it was 59. Finley had one bad drop that resulted in Aaron Rodgers’ lone interception but otherwise was productive with five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Another offensive starter, left guard Josh Sitton, missed practice on Wednesday because of a sore back. His status for Sunday’s game against the Redskins appeared less certain.

Sitton revealed that he has been dealing with back problems off and on, and it flared up before the game.

“It will bother me sometimes for a couple of weeks and then it’ll go away for a few months,” Sitton said. “It just comes and goes.”

If Sitton can’t play, the Packers have a couple of options, the most likely of which would be to move right tackle Don Barclay to left guard and bring in Marshall Newhouse to play Barclay’s spot. They could also play Greg Van Roten or Lane Taylor at left guard and leave Barclay at right tackle.

The Packers got a dose of good news with the return of safety Morgan Burnett, who did not play against the 49ers because of a hamstring injury.

“As far as his chance to play in the game, I don’t know yet,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. “He was limited today, did some individual work, and it’ll probably take the full week to find out.”

Here’s the full injury report:
  • S Morgan Burnett (hamstring, limited participation)
  • TE Jermichael Finley (toe, did not participate)
  • CB Casey Hayward (hamstring, out)
  • OLB Nick Perry (neck, full participation)
  • G Josh Sitton (back, did not participate)