First, the good news.
Clay Matthews and Jared Cook should be ready to return to action for the Green Bay Packers.
Now, the bad news.
T.J. Lang and Jake Ryan will not play when the Packers visit the Washington Redskins on Sunday night, coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday morning.
Lang suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of last week’s game at Tennessee. Don Barclay will replace him at right guard. He played all but four snaps last week.
“It was good,” Barclay said. “I thought as a group, playing next to Bryan (Bulaga) and Corey (Linsley), we communicated well. It felt good to get out there. I got into a groove. I felt bad for T.J. but got to play a lot of snaps and felt prepared for it.”
Barclay’s started 23 games in his career. Most of those have come at tackle, with five starts last year and 14 in 2013, but he looked at home in the middle of the line during the preseason.
“I’ve been here for five years and I’ve played in a good amount of games,” he said. “I know what to expect. I’m always ready to do whatever comes my way.”
There’s a chance Barclay could be in the lineup for more than a game. Missing time is rare for Lang. Since becoming a starter in 2011, he had missed only two games. Including this season, he had started 87 of a possible 89 regular-season games over the past five-and-a-half seasons.
“Just talking to the medical staff, once we get through this week, I think we’ll have a better handle on how long they think he’s going to be out,” McCarthy said.
Ryan injured his ankle on the opening punt last week and didn’t play a snap on defense. Blake Martinez and Joe Thomas are the only inside linebackers on the roster. Carl Bradford is on the practice squad if McCarthy wants depth.
“That’s what we’re working through right now,” McCarthy said. “I think the thing that really factors in that is the special teams work.”
The other options are safety Morgan Burnett and Matthews, who started at inside linebacker the previous season-and-a-half before moving back to the outside this year.
“We haven’t talked to Clay about playing him inside,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said on Thursday, echoing what Matthews said earlier in the day, “but if Clay was up on our game last week and we ended up on the first play losing Jake, Clay would be the best alternative if he had to go in there. Because Clay can play without getting a lot of reps. He knows the plays, he’s done it before.”
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The return of Matthews and Cook should help both sides of the ball. Matthews has missed the last three games, with Green Bay allowing 33, 31 and 47 points in those games. Cook has missed the last six. Matthews was limited participation on Wednesday and Thursday while Cook was full participation both days.
“I look at Jared and Clay in a similar fashion,” McCarthy said. “I thought they came out of the practice yesterday and did some good things. Today and tomorrow, hopefully we’re progressing to those guys playing on Sunday.”
Left tackle David Bakhtiari dropped out of the Tennessee game with a knee injury. McCarthy said he has "no concerns" about Bakhtiari for Sunday night.
|T David Bakhtiari||Knee||Limited||Limited||Limited||--|
|WR Randall Cobb||Hamstring||Limited||Limited||Limited||--|
|TE Jared Cook||Ankle||Full||Full||Full||Questionable|
|DB Micah Hyde||Shoulder||Limited||Full||Full||--|
|G T.J. Lang||Foot||DNP||DNP||DNP||Out|
|OLB Clay Matthews||Hamstring||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|WR Ty Montgomery||Illness||DNP||Full||Full||--|
|CB Damarious Randall||Groin||DNP||DNP||DNP||Out|
|CB Quinten Rollins||Groin||Limited||Limited||Limited||--|
|LB Jake Ryan||Ankle||DNP||DNP||DNP||Out|
|C J.C. Tretter||Knee||DNP||DNP||DNP||Out|
|S Will Blackmon||Thumb||Full||Full||Full||--|
|WR DeSean Jackson||Shoulder||Limited||Limited||Full||Questionable|
|DE Anthony Lanier||Thigh||Full||Full||Full||--|
|T Morgan Moses||Ankle||Full||Full||Full||Questionable|
|T Vinston Painter||Not injury related||Not listed||DNP||Full||--|
|LB Nick Sundberg||Back||Not listed||DNP||DNP||Questionable|
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.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.