The Green Bay Packers’ plan of having Clay Matthews and first-round pick Nick Perry harassing quarterbacks from opposite sides of the linebacker unit will have to wait until next year.
Green Bay placed Perry, its first-round pick, on injured reserve Wednesday afternoon, ending his season. According to Lance Allen of WTMJ-Channel 4 in Milwaukee, Perry recently got a second opinion on a left wrist injury that has been lingering since Week 1 and has had surgery on the wrist. The linebacker had missed the past three games with a knee injury he was close to putting behind him.
Perry has two sacks in six games this season and has flashed the ability the Packers were high on when they drafted him 28th overall in April. But even in those six games, he had been limited by his injuries, and his loss — combined with the absence of Matthews for a game or two with a hamstring injury suffered before the Packers’ bye week — will limit Green Bay’s options in a linebacking unit that is quickly growing thin. Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and D.J. Smith (knee) are already out for the season, and there isn’t a player among the team’s remaining linebackers who is considered a strong pass rusher.
The Packers lead the league in sacks with 28, but nine of those belong to Matthews, who is tied for second in the NFL. Only defensive lineman C.J. Wilson has more sacks (2.5) than Perry’s two.
Tight end Andrew Quarless was activated from the reserve/physically unable to perform list and will take Perry’s spot on the roster. Quarless, a fifth-round pick in 2010, caught 21 passes as a rookie as the Packers used him to fill in for injured starter Jermichael Finley on their run to a Super Bowl title. He then caught just three passes in 10 games last year before a torn ACL ended his season and forced Green Bay to place him on the PUP list in 2012.