Packers Starters Matthews, Lang Confident for Sunday

T.J. Lang says he'll play through a hip injury that will require surgery and Clay Matthews is optimistic that he'll be ready for the Falcons on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers right guard T.J. Lang was listed as limited participation on Wednesday and did not participate on Thursday.

Outside linebacker Clay Matthews didn’t participate on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday.

Not to worry, they both said on Thursday. Matthews (hamstring) and Lang (hip) intend to be in the starting lineup for Sunday’s NFC showdown at Atlanta.

“I was able to get out there and do a little bit more than yesterday, which was obviously nice and a hopefully a good indicator moving forward into this weekend,” Matthews said.

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Matthews said this injury is the “same kind of deal” as the injury that kept him out of the Week 3 game at Detroit. This time, however, “I feel like I’m further along. I feel like there was a little tightness at the end of that Thursday night game (vs. Chicago). So, I think we’re just being smart and cautious, especially with this 10-game run in which we have. You’d hate for something to happen and be out several weeks.”

It’s that 10-week run – and perhaps longer with the playoffs – that is the challenge. That challenge was driven home when running back Eddie Lacy played through an injured ankle and cornerback Damarious Randall returned from a groin injury against Dallas. Both players now have had surgery and are out of action.

“You just have to be smart, you know?” Matthews said. “You hate to see that because you’ve got warriors who want to battle through injuries and whatnot. In hindsight, we’ve got a game out of them, but lost them for several more. I feel like I’ve been doing this for several years now, and I know my body better than anyone. So, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. If there’s ever an unfortunate chance that I can’t go, then we’ll make a smart and well-informed decision.”

As for Lang, he’s played through injuries before. And he’ll play through this one, too.

“The turf in the (Don Hutson Center) is a little rough sometimes,” Lang said. “I think that kind of wore me out a little bit yesterday, so today was more of a rest day. I’m not fighting through something crazy. Everybody’s going through their own personal injuries and whatnot. It’s something you’ve got to find a way to get it through. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.”

Lang said the hip issue is a “genetic thing” that’s been bugging him for a couple years and probably will require offseason. He missed the opening two series of the season half against the Bears getting the hip loosened up before returning and playing the rest of the game. That game was played on a short week, leading to some of his problems vs. Chicago. Lang took advantage of the extra rest to go through PRP – platelet-rich plasma. According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, laboratory studies have shown that the increased concentration of growth factors in PRP can potentially speed up the healing process.

"A lot of guys find alternate routes to try to get healty," he said.

Cornerbacks Randall and Quinten Rollins (groins), running back James Starks (knee) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) joined Lang on the sideline. All five either rehabbed or worked on their conditioning during practice.

Receivers Randall Cobb (hamstring and Ty Montgomery (illness) were listed as limited but didn’t do anything in the portion of practice open to reporters.

ROSTER NOTE: The Packers released receiver Jared Abbrederis with an injury settlement, according to the league’s transaction wire. Abbrederis was placed on injured reserve on Monday (thigh). Abbrederis had a strong training camp and preseason but caught only one pass for 8 yards. Also out is cornerback Keith Baxter, who was signed to the practice squad on Tuesday.

PLAYERINJURYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYSTATUS
PACKERS
WR Randall Cobb Hamstring Limited Limited
TE Jared Cook Ankle DNP DNP
RB Don Jackson Hand Full Full
G T.J. Lang Hip Limited DNP
OLB Clay Matthews Hamstring DNP Limited
WR Ty Montgomery Illness Limited Liited
CB Damarious Randall Groin DNP DNP
CB Quinten Rollins Groin DNP DNP
RB James Starks Knee DNP DNP
FALCONS
RB Tevin Coleman Hamstring DNP DNP
RB Devonta Freeman Hip Limited Full
DE Dwight Freeney Quad DNP DNP
WR Taylor Gabriel Concussion Limited Full
CB C.J. Goodwin Hamstring Limited Limited  
OT Jake Matthews Wrist Full Full
WR Mohamed Sanu Groin Full Full

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.


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