GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers tight end Jared Cook suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday's win over the Detroit Lions, according to a source.
Cook left the game in the second quarter after his legs tangled with a defender on a pass route over the middle of the field. He remained down for a moment before rising to his feet and limping heavily as he hobbled off.
After the game, Cook was seen wearing a walking boot inside the Packers' locker room. He used crutches when he moved.
The severity of Cook's injury is unclear, but high ankle sprains often require significant recovery time. It falls under the same broad umbrella applied to wide receiver Ty Montgomery last season, and Montgomery never played after injuring his ankle in Week 6. Montgomery, it turned out, suffered cartilage and ligament damage and needed offseason surgery.
Without Cook, the Packers have only two tight ends on the active roster: Richard Rodgers, who was last year's starter, and Justin Perillo.
The Packers have a fourth tight end on their practice squad in Devon Cajuste of Stanford.
Meanwhile, coach Mike McCarthy shared some optimism his battered defense can get healthy with some extra rest. The Packers played without outside linebackers Clay Matthews (ankle/hamstring) and Datone Jones (knee), defensive tackle Letroy Guion (knee), safety Morgan Burnett (groin) and cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
McCarthy suggested Matthews, Jones, Guion and Burnett could be back when the Packers host the New York Giants on Oct. 9.
“I hope so,” McCarthy said. “I have no reason to think that they won’t but, at the end of the day, they have to go through the testing and pass everything and so forth. You know, history will tell you that they feel great, because they know that their schedule will be affected greatly if they didn’t feel great right now.
“They’re feeling better than they did. I’m hopefully that we’ll be OK there.”
One benefit of keeping key defensive starters out against the Lions is it provided an extra week to heal. Matthews, Jones, Guion and Burnett were scheduled to practice Saturday to evaluate where they were physically. A decision was made to keep them out against the Lions later.
There has been no update on Shields, who has been in concussion protocol since suffering his fifth documented concussion late in the Packers’ opener at Jacksonville.