Casey Hayward. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
The Green Bay Packers can add a few more to the injury list this week. In his press conference, Coach McCarthy announced that reserve tight end Ryan Taylor had surgery to repair a knee injury he suffered in the win over Baltimore on Sunday. Taylor just thought he tweaked his knee in the game and didn’t believe it was serious. Apparently, he needed to have surgery to repair the damage and will be out a “couple of weeks” according to McCarthy.
McCarthy also announced that Mike Neal is dealing with a bruised shoulder and will sit out practice at least another day. It sounds like Neal could be a game-time decision this week.
The Packers are crossing their fingers that Neal will be ready to go against Cleveland. They’ve already lost Clay Matthews for at least the next three weeks, and it has been reported that Nick Perry broke his foot against Baltimore and will miss a few weeks with the injury. The Packers are already down to three healthy outside linebackers, including Neal.
At this point in the season, there seems to be plenty of injury news to report. To help condense it all, here is a brief player summary of where the Packers are currently at with all the injuries.
WR Randall Cobb – Cobb was placed on the injured reserve this week with the designation to return after eight weeks. The third-year receiver suffered a knee injury in the second quarter against Baltimore on Sunday that was later diagnosed as a fractured fibula. Cobb’s playmaking presence will definitely be missed.
WR James Jones – The veteran receiver sat out practice on Wednesday with a sprained PCL. Jones will be a game-time decision, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers play it safe and decide to rest the receiver for at least one week. With Cobb out and Jones questionable this Sunday, the Packers signed undrafted rookie receiver Myles White off the practice squad on Tuesday. White had a solid preseason and should add depth to the receiver position.
CB Casey Hayward – For the third week in a row, Hayward practiced on a limited basis. The good news is in the previous weeks he only practiced on Thursday or Friday. It’s a good sign the second-year defensive back is already on the practice field this early in the week, but Coach McCarthy still wasn’t ready on Wednesday to give Hayward the nod to play against Cleveland. It appears Hayward will be a game-time decision.
CB Jarrett Bush – The Packers top special teams player appears to be back. After dealing with a hamstring injury, Bush was a full participant in practice today and appears at full health.
LB Brad Jones – With how thin Green Bay is at linebacker, they could really use Jones this week. According to McCarthy, Jones is close to returning, but still sat out practice Wednesday to rest his hamstring. It wouldn’t be surprise if Jones rested another week, especially if he doesn’t return to the practice field by the end of the week. Jamari Lattimore played admirably at inside linebacker in his absence against Baltimore.
OLB Nick Perry – Perry has already been ruled out this week with a broken foot he suffered last Sunday. This is unfortunate for the second-year linebacker. He was playing really well in Matthews’ place the last two weeks, recording three sacks and two forced fumbles. McCarthy said Perry could miss the next few weeks. Green Bay will rely on undrafted rookie Andy Mulumba at right outside linebacker until Matthews or Perry return.
OLB Clay Mathews – There aren’t any new updates on Matthews’ injury. He will still miss at least the next three weeks of the season with a broken thumb.
OLB Mike Neal – Neal’s injury was just announced today in the coach’s press conference. It wasn’t clear whether Neal’s bruised shoulder occurred against Baltimore or was something that was injured awhile ago and has slowly progressed. Neal sat out the team’s first practice of the week and will miss Thursday’s practice as well. At this point, Neal seems to be a game-time decision. Sixth-round pick Nate Palmer will get the start if Neal can’t play this week.
RB James Starks – It’s unclear at this point how much longer Starks will be sidelined with the knee injury he suffered against Cincinnati. He’s already been ruled out this week and could miss a few more games.
TE Ryan Taylor – Apparently, Taylor injured his knee in the Baltimore game and required surgery on Monday to repair it. The young tight end has been ruled out for at least a couple of weeks. The Packers signed rookie Jake Stoneburner from the practice squad to fill in at tight end.
C/G Greg Van Roten – The Packers backup center was placed on injured reserve this week to make room for the White and Stoneburner signings. Van Roten suffered a foot injury in practice this year and has been sidelined the past few weeks.
T Derek Sherrod – The big news from the Packers PUP players today is that Sherrod was declared eligible on Monday and began practicing with the team on Wednesday. He’ll practice in pads on Thursday for the first time in 22 months. The Packers will have a three weeks to activate Sherrod on the 53-man roster or release him. Sherrod should stick around and add some much-needed depth on the offensive line.
DE Jerel Worthy – The second-year defensive lineman is still inactive. As a rookie, Worthy injured his knee late last season and has been inactive since then. With depth on the defensive line the Packers can be patient with Worthy’s return.
S Sean Richardson – It’s unclear whether Richardson will ever play again. According to the young safety, he feels great and is ready to play, but the Packers still need to decide if they will let him or not. Richardson suffered a serious neck injury last season that landed him on IR. With the way they handled the Nick Collins‘ situation, it’s hard to imagine Green Bay activating the second-year safety this season.
OL J.C. Tretter – The rookie offensive lineman has still yet to see the field as a Packer. He tore ligaments in his ankle during a fumble recovery drill on his first day of OTAs. It’s unclear at this point whether or not Tretter will return this season.
Stay tuned for more Packers injury updates. Here at Lombardiave.com, we’ll try to keep you updated on the latest Packers news throughout the week.