The two best defensive players for the Green Bay Packers might not be available for the team's preseason debut against the New England Patriots. While the offense remains relatively healthy, the defense for the Packers is banged up at each position group.
The following players are dealing with or recovering from injuries for the Packers leading up to Thursday's game:
CB Damarious Randall (groin)
CB Tay Glover-Wright (hamstring)
CB Demetri Goodson (calf)
S Sean Richardson (pectoral)
WR Javess Blue (shoulder)
WR Adrian Coxson (concussion)
OT Vince Kowalski (concussion)
LB Clay Matthews (knee soreness)
WR Jared Abbrederis (concussion)
DE Mike Daniels (ankle)
DE Letroy Guion (hamstring)
OLB Mike Neal (bilateral sports hernia)
OLB Nick Perry (groin)
OLB Adrian Hubbard (groin)
Even though linebacker Clay Matthews said after Tuesday's practice that he is preparing to play, he did qualify that by saying "we'll see if that's this Thursday, (or) next Sunday." In short, we at APC do not expect him to suit up against the Patriots. Of course the Packers want to give Matthews some additional reps inside during the preseason, but there isn't an urgency to get him on the field after he missed practice all of last week. The same could be said for Mike Neal, who came off the PUP list this past Monday and has practiced sparingly.
Randall, Glover-Wright, Goodson and Richardson all sat out practice on Tuesday, but none of them have been held back for a substantial amount of time. All of them except Richardson are battling for playing time and we believe it is likely that they will try to gut it out and play though injury.
The Packers could be low on defensive lineman against New England. Daniels joined Guion on the injury report this week after missing practice Monday because of an ankle injury. The severity of his injury has yet to be revealed, but both linemen missed the team's two open practices this week and may be held out as a precaution.
The three players listed with concussions (Abbrederis, Coxson and Kowalski) are all still going through the concussion protocol and no update on any of their statuses has been given. As such, they are highly unlikely to participate.
Kickoff for tonight's game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.