Neither Clay Matthews nor Vince Biegel will practice for the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday.
Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Matthews, who left Saturday’s game in Denver with a mystery injury, won’t be available to practice, although he said he wasn’t concerned about the issue.
“Clay will not practice today, no long-time concern there,” McCarthy said on Tuesday. “We have a couple of guys who won’t practice today. None of those guys I have any long term concern.”
Biegel, a fourth-round pick who has been out since May while recovering from foot surgery, still hasn’t been cleared to practice.
“He’ll be working in the rehab group today,” McCarthy said.
Missing Tuesday’s practice makes it unlikely that Biegel will be able to play during Thursday’s preseason finale. He could be cleared at any point, but the possibility still exists for the Packers to keep Biegel on the PUP list to start the season. He would miss at least the first six games.
The Packers have veteran outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks in Green Bay for a visit on Tuesday. McCarthy said he was “looking forward to” talking to Brooks, who could help the Packers’ shrinking depth at outside linebacker.
Clay Matthews has made his way onto the injury report again.
On Tuesday, the Packers announced Matthews will not practice on Tuesday because of an undisclosed injury. Matthews left Saturday’s preseason game vs. the Denver Broncos before the other starters, but there was no explanation as to why he was pulled from the game.
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Last year, Matthews missed four games because of a hamstring injury and his snaps were limited the second half of last year because of the shoulder injury he suffered vs. the Philadelphia Eagles in November. That led to Matthews only recording five sacks, the lowest total in his NFL career.
Even if Matthews was healthy, he was likely not going to play in the final preseason game on Thursday. But with Nick Perry dealing with an ankle injury and Vince Biegel having a foot injury, it’s clear the Packers need help at the outside linebacker position.
Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott both left the game with injuries, as Perry hurt an ankle and Elliott’s back spasms flared up during the game. However, it seems that Clay Matthews should have his name added to the list of walking wounded this week.
In a locker room interview posted to Packers.com on Monday afternoon, outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell was asked a question about the Packers bringing in free agent linebacker Ahmad Brooks for a visit on Tuesday. He responded with the following, revealing (perhaps inadvertently) the fact that Matthews left the game in Denver with an injury:
With Clay and Nick kind of going down with whatever they have, it does kind of make you realize how quickly a position can become not deep.
Furthermore (and with a hat tip to Zach Kruse of Packers Wire for catching it), Mike McCarthy spilled the beans a bit in his press conference on Monday as well:
Well, we got a little thin there with the pass-rushers going out of the game there fast, with Clay, Nick and Jayrone going out, but did a lot of good things.
A look at the official snap counts published by the NFL (which currently shows only defensive and special teams snaps) shows that Matthews did indeed play fewer snaps than the rest of the starting defense. He is listed as being on the field for seven snaps compared to 11 for teammate Nick Perry and numbers in the twenties for other starters like Mike Daniels and Morgan Burnett. This certainly suggests that it was an injury that would have taken him out of the game rather than a coach’s decision.
As for what the injury could be, that is anyone’s guess at this point. The team made no announcement, and there was no apparent issue on the field. However, this would make the possibility of the Packers signing Brooks an even more appealing move should Matthews have any sort of significant issue.
Stay tuned for updates on this issue as we learn more.