Injuries to Matthews, Perry raise questions entering bye

Nov. 5, 2012

Nick Perry has joined Greg Jennings in the growing list of Green Bay Packers’ players seeking a second opinion for their injuries.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy confirmed the rookie outside linebacker is in the process of getting another take on the knee injury he suffered against Houston on Oct. 14, which has sidelined him for the Packers’ last three games.

During his weekly interview with 1250 WSSP in Milwaukee on Monday, Perry said it’s a lateral collateral ligament injury. The length of the rehab varies dependent on the severity of the sprain, but it can be anywhere from three-to-eight weeks.

Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre suffered a similar injury in 2002 prior to a bye week and he returned in time to continue his NFL-record starting streak of 297 games.

McCarthy said the team hopes to know his condition within the next 48 hours, but with Monday’s revelation that three-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews could miss a couple weeks due to a hamstring injury, it doesn’t appear Nick Perry is going to be back in time to relieve him.

At least not immediately.

“The nice thing is we are getting Zombo back, so that gives us another guy that gets into the mix of things,” Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “We were very pleased with the way Erik Walden played yesterday. He had an outstanding game, made some big plays for us. (Dezman) Moses played probably the most plays that he’s played. That’s the one good thing about getting these young guys all the repetitions that we have. You saw all of them play yesterday, basically, and they all contributed to the win.”

In the interim, the Packers will need to count on veteran workhorse Erik Walden, undrafted free agent Dezman Moses and returning outside linebacker Frank Zombo, who activated was activated from the physically unable to perform list after being sidelined for the first nine weeks with a hamstring injury.

McCarthy said Zombo could have played during Sunday’s 31-17 win over Arizona after taking some backup snaps in practice last week, but was still one of the team’s inactives come game time.

That’s bound to change with the current injury outlook for the Packers, who could be without both Matthews and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (hip) coming out of the bye week.

The team is a little more optimistic about the outlook for fullback John Kuhn, who has missed two games with a hamstring injury but could be back for the Packers’ next game against Detroit on Nov. 18.

They also seem to have dodged a bullet with wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Already playing through a hamstring injury that had him listed as a game-time decision, Nelson exited during the Packers’ second series with a sprained ankle, but McCarthy said he should be OK.

“Jordy kind of got his feet twisted up under him because as he came out of the break the ball was low,” McCarthy said. “ That’s the normal area you throw that route, but it’s something game-plan wise we felt was obviously there. That’s why we did it. It was kind of an awkward play. We had a couple of awkward plays yesterday. Guys just got their bodies in awkward positions.”

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