There were a lot of linebackers watching practice for the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday.
Inside linebacker Jake Ryan (ankle), outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell (hamstring), linebacker Clay Matthews (shoulder), outside linebacker Julius Peppers (unknown but potentially for rest) all watched practice.
That list does not include outside linebacker Nick Perry, who sustained what coach Mike McCarthy called a “significant” injury to his left hand during the opening series of last week’s victory over Houston. Perry, who leads the team with eight sacks, already been ruled out of Sunday’s game against Seattle. His injury will be reassessed on Monday to determine his availability for next week’s game at Chicago.
“I don’t know the specifics of how long they think it’s going to be,” McCarthy said before practice. “But I know talking with Nick, he wants to go. So that’s why we’re going to look at it Monday and see where he is.”
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who’s missed the last two games with a knee injury, watched alongside Ryan during a 15-minute jog-through period to start practice before jumping into tackling and takeaway drills.
The only linebackers not impacted by injuries are inside linebackers Joe Thomas and Carl Bradford and outside linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Datone Jones.
“Oh, definitely,” McCarthy said about the lack of depth and its impact on game-planning. “They are what they are. I know nobody wants to talk about. it’s all part of your planning. I feel terrible for Nick. He was having a great season; clearly, his best season. He’s had a setback. How we plan moving forward, frankly, it’s the same thing we do each and every week. It’s based on the health of your team. Our job is to put players in position to be successful. We feel good about our plan and plan on being successful Sunday.”
Also out of practice was cornerback LaDarius Gunter (unknown).
Guard T.J. Lang (foot) and center J.C. Tretter (knee) did some individual work. Lang has missed the last three games, with Jason Spriggs starting the past two weeks. Tretter has missed the last five games, with Corey Linsley capably handling those duties.
Asked about Lang, McCarthy said, “I think he’s kind of crossing that threshold into doing some of the movement, the football, the actual practice drills and so forth to give us a better indication of where he is. J.C. Tretter is also close to that phase too. Both of those guys will do some work today at practice, and we’ll have a better assessment of those two.”
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.