GREEN BAY, Wis. — A bye this week may not be enough time for Packers All-Pro outside linebacker Clay Matthews to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered in Sunday’s win.
“The early diagnosis, it may be a couple weeks,” coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. “We won’t know until we get further into this. I know Clay doesn’t feel it’s as bad as it was in the past.”
Matthews has had a history of hamstring injuries but had been healthy all season to this point.
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“If you look at the play, there’s a little bit of an awkward pull when he had the quarterback,” McCarthy said. “Clay’s situation was probably something that was more led to the position that his body was in than this being a repeat of the same injury.”
Matthews is currently second in the NFL in sacks with nine, trailing only Houston’s J.J. Watt.
“Clay’s a difference maker,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “Hopefully we’ll get good news and hopefully he’ll be back sooner than what we think.”
Green Bay’s other starting outside linebacker, first-round pick Nick Perry, has missed three consecutive games with a knee injury. With the issue lingering, Perry is spending the start of his bye week attempting to figure out why he hasn’t gotten over the injury yet.
“Actually, Nick is in the process of going through a second opinion,” McCarthy said. “We’ll have some medical information on him hopefully in the next 48 hours.”
Starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga injured his hip in the second quarter of the Packers’ victory over Arizona and did not return.
“Bryan Bulaga’s injury is a very awkward situation where he trips and goes down and does a great job regaining his balance,” McCarthy said. “He probably would have been better off falling to the ground.
“It’s a hip injury. That’s not a normal, his body was not in a normal position. I think we all recognize that. We want to make sure that we get everybody’s opinion on it.”
The only bit of good news for McCarthy was the medical feedback he received on wide receiver Jordy Nelson. It was unlikely that Nelson was even going to play Sunday due to a hamstring injury, but he passed medical tests before the game and started for Green Bay. However, midway through the first quarter, Nelson sprained his ankle while attempting to catch a low pass from Aaron Rodgers and was out the rest of the game.
“I think he’s going to be OK,” McCarthy said of Nelson.
These injuries are just the latest in what has been a season filled with Packers players getting hurt. Green Bay has five starters out on offense and six starters out on defense. Inside linebacker Desmond Bishop and his backup D.J. Smith are both on injured reserve. Running back Cedric Benson (foot) is also on injured reserve, but he was given the team’s designation to return in Week 14. Wide receiver Greg Jennings just had abdominal surgery, defensive back Charles Woodson has a broken collarbone, defensive end Jerel Worthy has a concussion, cornerback Sam Shields has missed three straight games with an ankle injury and fullback John Kuhn has missed two in a row with an injured hamstring.