The hits just keep on a-coming for the Green Bay Packers.
Star outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who is second in the league with nine sacks, might miss “a couple weeks” with a hamstring injury sustained during the third quarter of Sunday’s victory over Arizona. That was the “early diagnosis,” according to coach Mike McCarthy.
It was the latest blow for a team that enters a badly needed bye week on a four-game winning streak. Of the team’s 22 starters entering training camp, 11 of them were out of action by the end of Sunday’s game.
Even though he’s only missed two games in his career – one in 2010 against Miami with an injured shin and last season when he was rested for Week 17 -- Matthews has been dogged by hamstring issues throughout his career.
“I know Clay doesn’t feel it’s as bad as it was in the past,” McCarthy said. “Obviously, we’ll know more when I’m standing here next week.”
Without Matthews, the Packers figure to line up against Detroit on Nov. 18 with Erik Walden and Dezman Moses as the starters, with Frank Zombo as the lone backup. Moses is an undrafted rookie; Zombo hasn’t played all season due to a hamstring injury that landed him on the PUP list at the start of training camp. First-round pick Nick Perry doesn’t appear to be in the equation. He injured a knee against Houston in Week 6 and is getting a second opinion this week. The team will get results from that in the next 48 hours, McCarthy thought.
“That’s kind of standard operating procedure for us,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said on Monday. “Every week, we’ve got to see what we have and then decide how we’re going to use guys. The nice thing is we are getting Zombo back, so that gives us another guy that gets into the mix of things. We were very pleased with the way Erik Walden played yesterday. He had an outstanding game, made some big plays for us. Moses played probably the most plays that he’s played.”
Meanwhile, starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga is getting a second opinion on a hip injury sustained during the first half.
“You’re definitely concerned,” McCarthy said of Bulaga. “I think anytime – I think it’s normal procedure – anytime you have a certain part of your body, and we’re talking about a hip, we have certain people out there we have relationships with and maybe the player and the agent has a relationship. Once again, we’re just trying to gather as much information as possible.”
Jordy Nelson’s sprained ankle shouldn’t be an issue after the bye and John Kuhn figures to be back, as well, McCarthy said.