The Green Bay Packers have numerous outside linebackers on the shelf as they suit up for their final open practice of training camp on Tuesday, and arguably the highest-profile name among that group is Clay Matthews. The ninth-year veteran suffered an unspecified injury in Saturday’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos, and left after just seven snaps.
Speaking before practice, head coach Mike McCarthy gave no details on Matthews’ issue, only noting that #52 will not participate in practice. However, McCarthy did say that there is “no long-term concern there” regarding Matthews, which suggests that he expects Clay to be ready for week one against the Seattle Seahawks.
McCarthy also alluded to a handful of other players who will not practice today — a group that presumably includes fellow edge rushers Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott. He repeated the same sentiment about those players: “none of those guys I really have long-term concern (about).” Those two probably will sit out on Thursday along with Matthews, in an effort to have them ready for the regular season.
The other injured edge rusher is Vince Biegel, the fourth-round rookie out of Wisconsin. Biegel will remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list through at least Tuesday, as McCarthy confirmed that he will not practice. “He’ll be working in the rehab group today,” the coach said. The fact that that Biegel still has not been cleared suggests that he is likely to end up starting the season on the PUP list, which would keep him out for the first six games of the season.
Meanwhile, the Packers are hosting free agent linebacker Ahmad Brooks on a visit Tuesday, perhaps due in part to the injury issues at that position. McCarthy said he would meet with Brooks later in the day, and general manager Ted Thompson refused to answer questions about the visit. When asked about whether he invited Brooks simply because he was released by San Francisco or if it had to do with those injuries, Thompson declined to respond: “That’s a question I would never answer. I don’t talk about people that are not on this team.” He also avoided an indirect question about Brooks’ ongoing criminal case with a similar response: “I’m gonna pass on all those questions. I think everybody’s trying to take it back to the same thing. The fact of the matter is that I don’t talk about that sort of thing.”
Stay tuned to APC throughout the day for more news regarding the Packers’ injuries and Brooks’ visit in Green Bay.