GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews wasn’t able to practice on Thursday – on a day when the Green Bay Packers were in pads – and that may very well mean the star outside linebacker won’t play Sunday night against the Detroit Lions.
Despite taking part on a limited basis in practice for the second straight day, veteran safety Charles Woodson is likely a week away from his return as well.
Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Thursday:
Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn’t rule Matthews or Woodson out after Thursday’s practice – in fact, with the game not until Sunday night, McCarthy said he was “hopeful” and that the team will “give them every opportunity to play” – but he did not sound encouraged. In fact, McCarthy said he had hoped Matthews would practice in pads Thursday – since next Thursday the practice won’t be in pads because of the Sunday night game – but that it “didn’t work out.”
As for Woodson, McCarthy said he “took some reps” but characterized Woodson’s work as him “just getting back into it.” He termed Woodson’s participation “very limited."
That would lead one to think that both star defenders will be more likely to return Dec. 16 at Chicago.
Meanwhile, the Packers could be down to only four healthy defensive linemen – veterans B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett and rookies Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels – with Wilson and Neal unlikely to play.
“If we have four, we go with four. We’ve gone with four before,” McCarthy said. “(We) also have the option of doing something at the end of the week from a roster standpoint. That’s what we’re looking at.”
The only good news was that Shields practiced in full and looked like he’s ready to play.
“I’d like to think you’ll see him full go,” McCarthy said.
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