Green Bay Packers likely will have different look on defense : Packers Insider

Green Bay Packers likely will have different look on defense

October 15, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Oct 16, 2010 ~ by Bob McGinn

~Barring the unexpected, the Green Bay Packers won’t have outside linebacker Clay Matthews and will be forced to start a third-string defensive end Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Miami Dolphins.

Matthews, the National Football League sack leader with 8½, missed a third straight day of practice Friday and was listed as doubtful.

“We’ll give him up to game time,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “But he’s making progress. He’s close.”

Veteran Brady Poppinga and rookie Frank Zombo probably will split time in place of Matthews at left outside linebacker.

With Clay Matthews probably out vs Miami, OLB Brad Jones is going to have to raise his game and get pressure on QB Chad Henne. Frank Zombo and Brady Poppinga will also be counted on at OLB, as long as they stay healthy for 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, left ends Ryan Pickett (ankle) and Mike Neal (shoulder) missed another day and were listed as questionable.

Thus, C.J. Wilson, a seventh-round draft choice who has played only 18 snaps, would make his first start.

“C.J. will do fine,” defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said. “What he’s going to have to gain is game experience. On the fly. But it’s been done probably a thousand times in this league.”

The 290-pound Wilson will play opposite right tackle Vernon Carey, a 340-pounder known for his drive blocking.

Trgovac said Wilson plays the run better than Jarius Wynn, adding that Wynn is the better pass rusher.

Injury list: On offense, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (concussion) is fine, tackle Mark Tauscher (shoulder) probably is out, tight end Donald Lee (chest) practiced and probably will play and wide receiver Donald Driver (thigh) sat out Friday but will play.

On defense, linebacker Brandon Chillar (shoulder) is out.

“The one common injury that we have had is the shoulder strains,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with our strength and conditioning or our trainers. Actually, I think we probably would rank very high. We have upgraded our cafeteria lately. We are always looking for ways to improve how our players are treated and how we prepare them.

“I just think (injury) is part of the game of football. Ours have come in big numbers kind of quickly. I’m hoping that we are just getting them all at once and we’ll be healthy the rest of the year.”

Close call: Rookie Sam Shields is healthy after missing two games with a calf injury. His role as nickel back was filled by Jarrett Bush against Detroit and by Pat Lee in Washington.

Injuries have forced the move of Bush to safety, where he is the top backup. Shields and Lee are ahead of Brandon Underwood, who is No. 5.

“We’ve got to get better to be where we want to be,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said when asked about Lee’s play against Washington. “It’ll be between (Shields) and Pat.”

Full story HERE

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