LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

The Green Bay Packers have been a wounded group this week, especially on the defensive side, but that could change before their home opener Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Coach Mike McCarthy said he expects key veterans who have spent practices riding stationary bikes and ellipticals to be off the sideline during Saturday’s practice. They include outside linebacker Clay Matthews (ankle/hamstring), defensive tackle Letroy Guion (knee), defensive end Datone Jones (knee), safety Morgan Burnett (groin) and right guard T.J. Lang (hip).

Guion and Jones will be wearing knee braces, McCarthy said.

It’s unclear whether any or all will play Sunday. The Packers will release their final injury report of the week Friday afternoon.

McCarthy said cornerback Sam Shields remains in the concussion protocol. Shields visited a specialist this week after having a workout Monday. McCarthy spoke with team physician Patrick McKenzie and associate team physician John Gray about Shields’ recovery Friday morning, and said the report was positive.

“They just said he’s making progress in the protocol, is really what they told me,” McCarthy said.

rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood