Once again, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy had to spend much of his Wednesday press conference talking about a multitude of injuries. There is some good news from Wednesday's practice, but with a few other players missing practice besides the previously-known injuries, it's a net negative day on that front for the team.
Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, James Starks, and Ryan Taylor have all been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. That will leave Mike Neal as the lone veteran at outside linebacker...if he can play. Neal reported a shoulder problem that kept him out of practice today. Also not practicing were wide receiver James Jones and inside linebacker Brad Jones, but it is encouraging that neither of those players have been ruled out yet.
The big positive news is that Derek Sherrod, who is on the Physically Unable to Perform list, was eligible to practice for the first time today and did so. The team was not in pads today, so he is not ready to play in a game yet, but the fact that he was finally working on the practice field with his teammates is a great sign for a player who went through a horrible injury.
Here are some of McCarthy's comments on the various injuries plaguing the team.
- Ryan Taylor: The tight end had knee surgery on Wednesday. On his status, McCarthy said "He'll be on the front end of time back, no more than a couple of weeks."
- Mike Neal: The shoulder issue "is something that kept Neal out of practice today. Don't think he'll be available tomorrow." Friday will be the big test for Neal - if he can't go, that would leave Nate Palmer and Andy Mulumba as the only outside linebackers.
- James Jones: "Hopefully Friday will be the day that we'll find out about James. He's very positive about where he is, how he feels...he's gearing up for a possible test"
- Brad Jones: "Brad's getting better, we feel like he made a step...as far as his availability, I don't have a feel for it yet."
- Casey Hayward: "I wouldn't say Hayward is ready to go, he was on the practice field today...I don't have enough information to say he's ready to go."
- Derek Sherrod: "He'll be in pads tomorrow...he needs to practice in pads (before he can play)...we're not just gonna roll him out there...especially with what he's been through in the past to get to this point"
- Randall Cobb: The length of time Cobb would spend on IR/Designated for Return "matched up clearly with the medical decision...this was clearly in that timetable."
- Nick Perry: "I think it's gonna be a couple of weeks. He's real upbeat about it and we'll see where he is next week."
There you have it. Hayward, Neal, and both Joneses might be able to play this week, while the others will remain on the shelf for a while. Hopefully that Packers defense can contain Brandon Weeden and company even without their top two or three outside linebackers.