With Clay Matthews out with a broken thumb and Andy Mulumba nursing an ankle injury suffered in the Lions game, the Packers’ outside linebacking corps consisted of just three healthy players at practice on Wednesday: Mike Neal, Nick Perry and rookie sixth-round draft choice Nate Palmer.
Palmer has been inactive for three of the Packers’ four games – he only saw action against Cincinnati on one special teams play. Palmer has been champing at the bit to play on defense, and with the decimated linebacking crew he might very well get a chance against Baltimore on Sunday.
“I’m more than ready to go out there and get a chance,” said Palmer, an Illinois State product. “It’s sad that it had to happen like this but we have good backups on the team. I feel like I’m ready to step into the role and play in whatever capacity they ask me to.”
Palmer said he got some advice from Matthews.
“Just go out there and have fun, that’s his biggest thing,” said Palmer. “He said, ‘Go out there and do … what got you here. Don’t try to play so technical, just go out there and have fun.”
At inside linebacker, Jamari Lattimore will be called on to replace starter Brad Jones, who has been ruled out of the Ravens game by coach Mike McCarthy with a hamstring injury.
“It’s all about making plays when you get out there no matter when you get out there,” said Lattimore, who has played on special teams in every game this season but saw his first action on defense (16 snaps) against the Lions on Sunday.