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Morning roundup: Walden still a factor at linebacker

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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There's no question rookie Nick Perry will be given every opportunity to thrive as the Green Bay Packers' starting left outside linebacker, but that doesn't mean the team has turned its back on Erik Walden, either. After serving his one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the fifth-year linebacker returned to the Packers’ rotation during Thursday’s 23-10 win over Chicago and saw more defensive snaps (36) than Perry, who had 20 in his second NFL start. As we wrote in our Sunday main story, Walden still appears to be in line for a role on defense after starting 15 games across from three-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews last season despite the Packers using their first-round pick in last April's NFL Draft on Perry. “We wanted to get Erik involved,” Capers said. “Obviously, Erik played over 900 plays for us last year and getting him back, we wanted to get him involved. Nick Perry’s wrist wasn’t totally 100 percent and so we’ll try to keep Erik Walden involved playing. I thought he played well.” Here are some other Sunday news and notes: *In our Packers' notebook, Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty writes on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' public display of frustration toward wide receiver James Jones after getting crossed up on a route and leading Rodgers to throw an interception. Though the play went badly, Packers head coach McCarthy didn’t think the exchange between Rodgers and Jones was mean-spirited. “There’s a line between playing with a lot of emotion and being disrespectful, and sometimes it looks the same,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s the reality of that particular situation. He’s not trying to disrespect James Jones by no means. He’s competing. He’s extremely competitive, and they talked about it immediately on the sidelines. I think that’s the case.” Dougherty and the rest of the Press-Gazette staff discuss Matthews' six-sack start putting him in position to make another run at the NFL sack record and breaking down an interesting goal-tending rule. *Packers punter Tim Masthay has plenty of motivation after signing a four-year contract extension last month, including his goal for his 5-month-old daughter, Emory, to remember him playing in the NFL. Through two games, Masthay is off to a phenomenal start to his third season. During Thursday’s 23-10 win over Chicago, Masthay declawed the Bears and their volatile return man Devin Hester with three punts in Chicago’s red zone to complement a 47.6-yard per punt average and 42.0 net. The performance came four days after burying four of his six punts inside the 20-yard line against San Francisco. Dating back to last season, Masthay has placed 26 of his last 45 punts inside the 20-yard line over his last 12 games, including seven on 11 total punts this year for a 47.9 average and 41.7-net yards per punt. Only three of his punts have been returned this season. “I thought Tim was outstanding,” said Slocum of Masthay showing against Chicago. “I thought he punted the ball very well. He had three punts inside the 20. He had a couple of long high balls. I thought he was very effective.” -whodkiew@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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