NFL Nation: Nick Perry

Don't forget about Packers' defense

January, 12, 2015
Jan 12
10:15
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With all the focus on quarterback Aaron Rodgers' remarkable performance despite his strained left calf and Dez Bryant's catch that wasn't a catch, it's easy to overlook the role the Green Bay Packers' defense played in Sunday's 26-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field in the NFC divisional playoff round.

"Very pleased with the way the defense played," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

Here are a few things from the defense that should not be forgotten as the Packers prepare for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks:

[+] EnlargeTony Romo
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesJulius Peppers and the Packers defense did a formidable job Sunday against the Cowboys' top offensive weapons.
Welcome back, Julius: Other than his two-sack game against the woeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16, it had been a while since Julius Peppers had a major impact on a game. But he did against the Cowboys, with a sack and two forced fumbles. His strip-sack of Tony Romo on the game's opening series ended that drive and helped set up the Packers' first touchdown. In the third quarter, he stripped the ball from running back DeMarco Murray, and Datone Jones recovered. That led to a field goal that got the Packers within one, at 14-13. "Pep really had a great game, especially in limited reps rushing the passer," Clay Matthews said. Peppers had gone without a sack in six of his past seven regular-season games.

Pressure on Romo: In addition to four sacks, the Packers were credited for eight quarterback hits on Romo. Nick Perry, who had just three sacks all season, had 1.5 on Sunday. And they came on consecutive plays -- the last of the third quarter and the first of the fourth. He shared the second one with Mike Daniels. Seven players recorded quarterback hits. Said Matthews: "You look at the guys when they're moving around, you have me moving inside, outside, playing coverage as well as Nick Perry, Mike Neal and Julius being able to rush from the inside as well as drop into coverage. It definitely shows the versatility of the 3-4 defense."

Solid coverage: Yes, Tramon Williams missed a tackle that led to Terrance Williams’ 38-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the second quarter and was called for two pass-interference penalties, but the Packers' secondary held up well against Romo's top weapons. The Packers held Bryant to just three catches for 38 yards. Terrance Williams didn't have another catch, other than his touchdown. Tight end Jason Witten was the Cowboys' leading receiver, with six catches for 71 yards. "When I looked at the scoreboard, I didn't see any receivers [with big numbers]," cornerback Jarrett Bush said.

Run defense: This remains an area of concern, after Murray rushed for 123 yards on 25 carries (a 4.9-yard average). He was the best running back the Packers faced since Marshawn Lynch in Week 1. Now, they have to go back to Seattle and deal with Lynch in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. Lynch ran for 110 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Seahawks' 36-16 win over the Packers in the opener. "As long as we're all on the same page, we'll be able to handle anybody," Perry said of stopping the run.

Packers not done with defensive tweaks

December, 31, 2014
12/31/14
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers used their bye week in November to fix their defense, so what will they do during their playoff bye?

"I'm excited about some of the new wrinkles that we may move forward with and what we'll be able to do in the playoffs," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

That defensive coordinator Dom Capers can spend this week cooking up something new rather than fixing the old shows just how much progress his unit made since the halfway point of the season.


The Packers' defense was in shambles when they reached their bye in Week 9. Capers' unit had just allowed the New Orleans Saints to ring up 495 yards of total offense, including 193 on the ground in the Packers’ 44-23 loss.

McCarthy put it as bluntly as possible when he said at the time that the Packers "need to be more than a football team that just has to rely on winning the turnover ratio."

If that was his way of putting Capers and the defense on notice, he has to be pleased with the response in the second half of the season. A team that could not stop the run – it ranked dead last in the NFL through eight games, when all eight opponents rushed for at least 100 yards – was one of the best run-stopping units in the second half of the season.

Outside of one troubling half against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14, when the Packers allowed 304 yards in the second half alone and let Julio Jones catch 11 passes for 259 yards (the most ever against the Packers) for the game, there was little to quibble with in the second half of the season, except that perhaps it wasn't against a murders' row of powerhouse offenses. Of their eight second-half opponents, four finished 21st or lower in total offense and just two (the Philadelphia Eagles and Falcons) ranked in the top 10.

"I think it's not how you start, it's how you finish," defensive tackle Letroy Guion said. "That's probably the best way I can sum that up. Some teams have to get going. Some teams come out [fast]. Some teams can't finish strong. You have all different types of ways that teams come together or break apart."

What led to the turnaround? Consider these factors:
Still, there's one question that looms about the defense as the Packers head into the postseason: Is it good enough to succeed where the previous three incarnations failed? In the 2011 playoff loss to the New York Giants and the consecutive postseason losses to the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 and 2013, the defense failed to do enough to win the game.

Not since the run to Super Bowl XLV has Capers' unit delivered with a big game in the playoffs (and the 2012 wild-card win over the Minnesota Vikings with backup Joe Webb as the quarterback doesn't count).

"I think our health is better and I think our confidence level is good," Capers said. "I think those two things are important. Momentum, you've heard me say that you want to keep that arrow pointing up, and the only little bump in the road we had was that second half of the Atlanta game where you didn't feel good coming out of that.

"You want confidence and guys feeling good about where you are and carry that into this time of the year. It's a big part of it. We all know this is a game of momentum."

Said McCarthy: "You want momentum built throughout your whole football team, and I think our defense has played exceptional football really since the bye week."
GREEN BAY, Wis. – No offense to Eric Dickerson, but Eddie Lacy would rather not wear goggles on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Green Bay Packers running back has an irritated left eye that he said was from his contact lens. He's had to go with just one contact this week but hopes to be able to wear both for Sunday's game. He said Thursday that there's no way he's wearing goggles.

"I refuse," Lacy said before backtracking slightly. "I don't want to say I refuse because I might, because I think it will be better than wearing contacts, but that's kind of old school."

And when Lacy thinks of goggles …

"That's what I get, Eric Dickerson," he said.

Lacy needs something to help his vision. As he leaned against a table in the middle of the Packers' locker room, he closed his right eye and tried to make out quarterback Scott Tolzien's nameplate across the way.

"Let's just say I'm very blind," Lacy said. "I can't see Scott's name over there."

Lacy needs just 60 yards to top the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. He's coming off a 15-carry, 97-yard game in Sunday's loss at the Buffalo Bills, a game in which he touched the ball only five times in the second half.

When asked whether he thought coach Mike McCarthy should have stuck with the running game more, Lacy said: "That ain't none of my business, bro. I do what's called."

Here's the full injury report from Thursday:
GREEN BAY, Wis. – There were plenty of names – including some big-name players – on the Green Bay Packers injury report, but the concern level remained low about a majority of the eight players on Wednesday's list.

Even right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who remains in the concussion protocol after he dropped out of Sunday's loss at the Buffalo Bills, appears to have a good chance to play this Sunday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Although Bulaga did not practice Wednesday, he was able to work out and attend meetings, which is a sign he has passed through the early stages of the concussion program.

"Looks great," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday of Bulaga. "Saw him in the weight room, in the meetings this morning. Making progress."

Outside linebacker Clay Matthews was added to the injury report with a biceps injury and running back Eddie Lacy, who last week had a hip injury, was listed this week with an eye issue.

"Eddie's just a situation he has going on with his eye that's not game-related," McCarthy said. "I think we'll be fine there. I don't think Clay's is of serious nature. I think we'll be OK there."

Both Lacy and Matthews finished Sunday's game against the Bills. Lacy rushed for 97 yards and Matthews had one of his best games of the season with two sacks.

Here's the full injury report:
  • T Bryan Bulaga (concussion, did not practice)
  • CB Davon House (shoulder, did not practice)
  • RB Eddie Lacy (eye, limited participant)
  • G T.J. Lang (ankle, limited participant)
  • LB Clay Matthews (biceps, limited participant)
  • OLB Mike Neal (abdomen, limited participant)
  • OLB Nick Perry (shoulder, limited participant)
  • G Josh Sitton (toe, did not practice)

Sam Shields still has a shot to play

December, 6, 2014
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Sam Shields still has time to make it through the concussion protocol, so the Green Bay Packers have not ruled their starting cornerback out of Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Officially, the Packers listed him as questionable on Saturday's injury report.

Shields
"The medical staff has told me he still has a chance to play," coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday. "He'll be given the opportunity to play in the game if everything goes right."

The Packers did not practice on Saturday, but if they did, Shields would not have taken part. They will hold their final practice of the week on Sunday morning.

"Sam Shields is a starter, so I'm going to give him every opportunity to play," McCarthy said.

Shields was injured in the first half of last Sunday's win against the New England Patriots. Davon House replaced him and finished the game. He would start along with Tramon Williams if Shields isn’t cleared. Cornerback is perhaps the Packers' deepest position on defense, which bodes well against Falcons receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White.

White, however, was listed as questionable on the Falcons injury report, although he insisted he will play.

Safety Micah Hyde has been a fixture into the nickel spot, and cornerback Casey Hayward has been settled into the dime spot.

"It's definitely a very good receiving group," McCarthy said. "We've been practicing all week without Sam, so Davon, Casey and Tramon, they'll be ready to go."

Defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who hasn't practiced all week because of a sore back, looks on track to play.

Here's the full injury report:

Out
LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle)
DE Luther Robinson (calf)

Questionable
CB Shields (concussion)

Probable
DT Josh Boyd (knee)
DT Daniels (back)
G T.J. Lang (ankle)
OLB Nick Perry (shoulder)
G Josh Sitton (toe)
G Lane Taylor (illness)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers' defense will be back at full strength for Sunday's showdown with the New England Patriots.

And they'll also have their top special teams player.

Bush
Perry
Outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) and core special teamer Jarrett Bush (groin) are both active after missing last Sunday's game at the Minnesota Vikings.

Perry moved into the starting right outside linebacker position when Clay Matthews moved to the inside spot following the Packers' bye in Week 9. Mike Neal started at outside linebacker against the Vikings, but Perry is expected to return to that role.

Both Perry and Bush were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Receiver Davante Adams, who was added to the injury report on Thursday after he got his heel stepped on in practice, also is active.

All seven of the Packers' inactives were healthy scratches.

Here's the full list:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It was an only an estimation because the Green Bay Packers don't actually practice on Fridays anymore, but for the first time since outside linebacker Nick Perry injured his shoulder Nov. 16, he was listed as a participant in practice.

Whether that actually holds true when the Packers hit the field won't be known until the next practice on Saturday.

But since league rules require teams to categorize participation levels on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Packers listed him as limited. Previously, he had been listed as a nonparticipant since the injury.

Officially, the Packers declared the former first-round pick as questionable for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

"Nick Perry's making progress," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "Really from yesterday to today, he's improving. So we'll see what he's able to do in the rehab with the trainers and the medical staff, and we'll have more information tomorrow. But he's getting better."

Perry's injury kept him out of last Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, ending a streak of 15 straight regular-season games (dating to last season) in which Perry had played. That was by far the longest stretch of his career. Before this season, he had never played in more than six straight games. In his first two NFL seasons, Perry missed 15 of a possible 32 games because of a variety of injuries (knee, wrist, foot, ankle).

"He's had some tough luck the last two years," McCarthy said. "This has been his best year so far, and if we can get through this one here, we'll see where it goes.”

Here's the Packers' full injury report:

Questionable
CB Jarrett Bush (groin)
OLB Perry (shoulder)

Probable
WR Davante Adams (heel)
TE Brandon Bostick (hip)
G T.J. Lang (ankle)
G Josh Sitton (toe)

No concern about Davante Adams' injury

November, 27, 2014
11/27/14
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You can go back to enjoying your Thanksgiving, the Green Bay Packers don't appear to be concerned that receiver Davante Adams is at risk of missing Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

Adams
Adams was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice because of a heel injury, but he did not appear to do anything during the portion that was open to reporters.

Coach Mike McCarthy said someone stepped on Adams' foot in practice on Wednesday.

"Davante actually moved around, did some things, so they're just kind of working through exactly how they're going to handle it," McCarthy said after practice. "So I don't have high concern."

Neither did receiver Jordy Nelson.

"I think he'll be fine," Nelson said. "I'm not worried."

One player not listed on the injury report -- and who insisted that he shouldn't be -- is linebacker A.J. Hawk, who looked like he was having a hard time in coverage against Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph last Sunday. On the Vikings' first play from scrimmage, Rudolph easily ran away from Hawk for a 23-yard gain on a crossing route.

"It wasn't from being unhealthy or whatever," Hawk said. "He just caught me by surprise. I should've anticipated him coming across earlier, but it wasn't anything health-wise.

"I'm good. I'm healthy. There's no way I would ever say anything if I wasn't, but I'm actually not lying to you."

Here's the full injury report from Thursday’s practice:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If the Green Bay Packers' plan was to feature Davante Adams on Sunday against the New England Patriots, they might have some alterations to make.

Adams did not take part in the portion of Thursday's practice that was open to the media. He was in attendance but spent the early part of the session talking with members of the team's training staff.

.

He could be a critical piece on Sunday if the Patriots, with two top-flight cornerbacks in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, can effectively cover the Packers' top-two receivers, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

A full injury update will be available after practice.

Adams practiced on Wednesday and also spoke with reporters in the locker room afterward. However, during Sunday's win against the Minnesota Vikings, he left the game for three plays during the first quarter after he appeared to fall awkwardly on his midsection after a 10-yard reception on the Packers' second series. He returned for the next series after missing only three plays.

Linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) and cornerback Jarrett Bush (groin) were the only other players not practicing during the session that was moved to earlier in the day in order to allow everyone to get home for Thanksgiving.

Guard T.J. Lang (ankle) returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday. Fellow starting guard Josh Sitton (toe) practiced for the second straight day.
MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Green Bay Packers still plan to use Clay Matthews at inside linebacker as extensively as they have the previous two games, they will need to find another option at his old outside linebacker spot.

Nick Perry, who started the last two weeks at right outside linebacker, was declared inactive for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Perry was listed as questionable because of a shoulder injury.

Mike Neal would be the logical choice to assume those outside linebacker snaps, but rookie Jayrone Elliott also sees some action there.

Matthews has played the majority of his snaps the last two weeks at inside linebacker, especially on early downs, but it's possible he could go back to playing more at outside linebacker.

On Friday, coach Mike McCarthy said they would have to adjust their plan if Perry could not play.

The Packers also will be without one of their key special-teams players, cornerback Jarrett Bush (groin). In his place, rookie cornerback Demetri Goodson was activated for just the second time this season.

Here's the full inactive list:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The last time Clay Matthews was coming off a groin injury, the Green Bay Packers linebacker returned an interception 40 yards against the Chicago Bears before veering out of bounds.

That was in Week 4, one game after he dropped out of the loss at the Detroit Lions late in the fourth quarter.

Matthews
Matthews went back on the injury report this week with the same ailment, but thinks it's better this week than it was going into that Bears game.

How much better?

"I might go 50 yards and not 40," Matthews said.

Matthews was listed as a limited participant in practice on Thursday.

"I think we’re just being more cautious than anything," Matthews said. "I was able to go out there against Chicago, cautiously, of course. I feel like the progression I'm making this week as opposed to maybe Week 3 and 4 is ahead of where I was."

Perhaps more of an issue is the status of outside linebacker Nick Perry, who has a shoulder injury and did not practice for the second straight day, leaving his status in question for Sunday's road game against the Minnesota Vikings. Perry has started the past two games at Matthews' old outside linebacker position while Matthews has moved inside on early downs.

"Nick Perry is definitely important," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Just that whole group, you talk about Nick and Mike Neal and Julius [Peppers], their ability to move around and play the elephant position has been very important. That was a big part of our change, and definitely fits with the movement of Clay."

However, Matthews said he doesn't think his role would change if Perry can't play Sunday.

"I think it's more of a 'next man up' type of mentality around here," Matthews said. "I'm sure [Jayrone] Elliott will have more opportunities as well as Mike and J.P. As we have seen in weeks prior, I rush off the edge and play in the middle, so wherever they need me, I will be there."

Here's the full injury report:
  • TE Brandon Bostick (hip, did not practice)
  • CB Jarrett Bush (groin, did not practice)
  • LB Elliott (hamstring, limited participation)
  • G T.J. Lang (ankle, limited participation)
  • LB Matthews (groin, limited participation)
  • LB Perry (shoulder, did not practice)
  • G Josh Sitton (toe, limited participation)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews didn't miss any games when he first injured his groin this season, and the Green Bay Packers aren't too concerned about it now that it has cropped up again.

Matthews was listed on the injury report Wednesday as a limited participant in practice.

"Just speaking with him, he doesn't have high concern," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow."

Matthews first injured his groin in the fourth quarter of the Week 4 game at the Detroit Lions and did not play late in the game. However, he played the next week against the Chicago Bears and did not appear to have any issues with it going forward.

Outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) did not practice on Wednesday. Perry has been key to Matthews' move to inside linebacker the last two weeks because he inherited some of Matthews' snaps at outside linebacker. Both of their injuries stemmed from Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, although never came out of the game because of the injuries.

McCarthy said Perry might not practice until Saturday.

In the two games since Matthews moved primarily to inside linebacker, he has combined for 15 tackles, two sacks and one pass breakup.

After listing just four players on their injury report last week, that number nearly doubled on Wednesday.

Here's the full injury report:

The new normal for the Packers' defense

November, 16, 2014
11/16/14
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video
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You have seen this before from Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy.

It's nothing new -- these 341-yard, three-touchdown, no-interception games from the Green Bay Packers quarterback, and the 129-yard and 109-yard receiving games from Cobb and Nelson, respectively, and tackle-breaking touchdown runs by Lacy. Breaking records and reaching milestones has become the norm for Rodgers and his crew of playmakers.

But what you saw from the Packers' defense in Sunday's 53-20 dismantling of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field might be the new normal. Since their meltdown in the 44-23 loss at New Orleans before the bye, defensive coordinator Dom Capers' unit has turned in a pair of dominant performances in blowout home victories over the Eagles and Chicago Bears.

It has coincided with the new, hybrid role for outside linebacker/inside linebacker Clay Matthews, an idea that was launched during the bye, but it's about much more than that.

"It just shows that we have a very talented defense," said Matthews, who registered a sack for the second straight game. "And it's all about deciding which defense wants to show up."

[+] EnlargeJulius Peppers
AP Photo/Mike RoemerThe Packers' Julius Peppers gets away from Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews for a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown.
If it's the one that foiled Jay Cutler last week and Mark Sanchez on Sunday, then the Packers (7-3) might have the kind of complete team capable of a long playoff run.

Sacks by defensive tackle Letroy Guion on the Eagles' opening series and outside linebacker Mike Neal on the second series set a tone of aggressiveness from the start. Guion beat right guard Matt Tobin on a second-and-6 and dumped Sanchez for a 7-yard loss, which set up a much easier third-and-long situation for the defense and ultimately led to a punt. Neal then dumped Sanchez for a 9-yard loss on third-and-6 to force another punt.

By the time the Eagles got the ball back the next time, they were down 17-0.

"Defensively, you're just seeing a unit that's playing faster," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "The personnel groups that we're getting in and out of, I think it's happening seamlessly. You're getting used to playing together in combinations that we kind of set for the second half. With that, our playmakers are making plays, and we've got a lot of playmakers on defense."

Eagles coach Chip Kelly's fast-paced, high-powered offense looked no different than the Bears offense in their futile performance a week earlier. For the second straight week, the game was over by halftime. This time, the Packers led 30-6 at the break, and even though they gave up 429 yards, it was empty yardage in the end.

"Against an offense like that, to do what they did tonight, that was very impressive," Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga said. "They're the reason ... yeah, we scored points in the first half, but they kept it to six points. That was huge."

What followed the early sacks was this: a pair of fumble recoveries, one by Nick Perry and another by Casey Hayward, who returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. Then two interceptions, one by Tramon Williams and another by Julius Peppers, who returned it 52 yards for a touchdown.

This against a team that, though it was missing starting quarterback Nick Foles, brought the NFL's fifth ranked offense to town.

The Packers' run defense that was so awful the first half of the season -- it ranked dead last and gave up 155 yards per game -- all of a sudden is more than respectable. They have nearly cut that number in half the past two games and allowed an average of just 82 yards rushing per game.

"We’ve been going out saying that we’re going to get off of the field," Williams said. "[The] offense has been moving the ball unbelievable, and if we can continue doing that throughout the year, then we're going to be where we want to be."

Packers use 'NASCAR' to rev up defense

October, 19, 2014
10/19/14
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You can't accuse the Green Bay Packers' 64-year-old defensive coordinator of being averse to trying new things.

On Sunday, after a week of questions about why Clay Matthews' production had slipped this season, Dom Capers unveiled another new defensive package. This one, called "NASCAR" presumably because it employed more speed on the defensive front, may not have led to a breakout for Matthews, but it proved useful in what was perhaps the Packers' best defensive showing of the year in their 38-17 win over Carolina.

[+] EnlargeClay Matthews
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY SportsClay Matthews was able to put steady pressure on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday.
And, oh yeah, Matthews managed to get a shared sack with Julius Peppers, although it came out of a different package.

In "NASCAR," Capers went without any traditional defensive linemen in what was a dime (six defensive back) secondary alignment. Instead, he lined up Matthews and Peppers -- his starting outside linebackers -- as defensive tackles on the interior of the line and flanked them with Nick Perry and Mike Neal as outside linebackers.

"It gets all four of our elephant types on the field at the same time," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Yeah, it's been very productive."

Capers used it only in third-down situations. The first five times he employed "NASCAR" on Sunday, the Packers came up with third-down stops on four of them, including Perry's sack of Cam Newton on third-and-5 to end the Panthers' second series. Carolina converted just 4-of-12 third downs.

"We like that a lot because you put me, Pep, Mike Neal and Nick Perry out there; that's a pretty good pass-rushing group," Matthews said. "When we put that in there, we're thinking that's a pass-rushing down, and we turn loose a little bit. You always love that."

The Packers sacked Newton just three times, but Matthews missed on two others. He shared one of the sacks with Peppers, who had another by himself. Still, through seven games this season, Matthews has just 1.5 sacks. After getting shut out in the tackle category a week ago at Miami, Matthews was credited with two stops against the Panthers.

"In all honesty, I don't have to prove it to anyone but myself," said Matthews, the four-time Pro Bowler. "I'm a good player, and I know that I am. And it's just about putting together performances."

The Packers didn't feast on turnovers like they had the previous four games (when they had 11 takeaways), although cornerback Casey Hayward picked off his second pass in as many games. But the defense was borderline dominant early in the game. At first quarter's end, the Panthers had just 5 total net yards.

"You wish every quarter was like that," Packers cornerback Davon House said. "We only got, what, 12 plays of defense, and the offense scored every single time they got the ball. That was probably as close to perfect."

Good news for Packers' Clay Matthews

September, 26, 2014
9/26/14
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews has progressed as he had hoped since leaving Sunday's loss at Detroit with a groin strain.

 After he took part in practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday, the Green Bay Packers on Friday listed their star linebacker as probable for Sunday's game at the Chicago Bears.

That came a day after Matthews said: "I'll be out there."

There's still one hurdle for Matthews to clear before kickoff. Under coach Mike McCarthy’s new schedule, the Packers hold a light practice on Saturdays before Sunday games. The Packers did not practice on Friday but estimated that Matthews' participation level would have been limited if they would have practiced.

"Yeah, so far, so good," McCarthy said Friday. "The medical review, the report today was good on Clay. We still have 48 hours, so we're confident that he'll be ready to go. But like I said, he's still working through it."

Perhaps the biggest injury concern is to No. 3 receiver Jarrett Boykin, who had previously been on the injury report with a knee injury. However, the team added groin to the list of his ailments so he's questionable.

That could open the door for rookie Jeff Janis to get his first shot. The seventh-round pick has been inactive the first three games.

Here's the full injury report:

Questionable
WR Jarrett Boykin (knee, groin)
LB Brad Jones (quadriceps)

Probable
RT Bryan Bulaga (knee)
CB Davon House (knee)
OLB Clay Matthews (groin)
OLB Nick Perry (wrist)

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