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McCarthy Presser 10/3: Matthews to Play Against Lions

There's finally some good news on the Packers' injury report.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After the gloom and doom of yesterday's press conference, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had some pleasant news to report.

Principally, McCarthy discussed the return of Clay Matthews and his effect on the defense.

[Matthews] took his full allotment of reps today, looked good. Took a step today. We'll see how he is tomorrow.

Given McCarthy's tone when discussing Matthews yesterday, this is a surprising development. Reading between the lines, it sure sounds like he expects Matthews to play Sunday against the Lions. That's not only good news for the Packers' pass rush, but also a boon for their hopes of slowing down Reggie Bush.

[Bush] is a three-down player. He has the ability to do all three things on every down. That's a big compliment for a running back.

As we discussed in the Q&A over at Pride of Detroit, stopping Bush will be as critical to the Packers' chances as their coverage of Calvin Johnson. Bush opens up the offense in ways that their tailbacks in years prior couldn't. Having Matthews back will help if for no other reason than his presence should reduce the amount of time Matthew Stafford has to find a receiver. It'll be interesting to see what Dom Capers comes up with to slow down the Lions' running back.

McCarthy also discussed the kick return game, explaining that they don't have a primary returner at the moment. This is probably good news for those who'd like to see Cobb's exposure on special teams minimized. That doesn't mean Cobb won't field a few punts or kickoffs, but it sounds as though others like Johnathan Franklin and Micah Hyde are going to see time there as well.

That's it from McCarthy. Keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company for the latest Packers news and updates.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn

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