Martinez planning to play without Ryan

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan (47) is taken off the field during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.

GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers rookie inside linebacker Blake Martinez sounded like someone resigned to the fact that Jake Ryan, his fellow starter at inside linebacker, won't be back in the lineup anytime soon.

Ryan suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury covering a punt on the Packers' first series from scrimmage and did not play a single snap on defense Sunday in the Packers' 47-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. He was helped off the field and then carted to the locker room.

He did not return to the sideline during the game.

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Asked Monday about the loss of Ryan, Martinez said that backup Joe Thomas will have to pick up the slack.

"It’s definitely huge to lose a guy that’s on the starting defense, but we have the motto that the next man up has to be the best man up," Martinez said. "Having that, I think Joe is a great linebacker. It’s definitely hard to have Jake go out and it’s going to be hard not to have him in there, because I’m used to playing with him all the time and we’ve been growing that great chemistry.

"But I also have that great chemistry with Joe, as well. Moving forward, I think we’ll be just as good as we were with me and Jake."

Coach Mike McCarthy did not give an update on Ryan's status Monday, saying he had yet to meet with the medical staff about injuries. However, the Packers undoubtedly know how serious Ryan's injury is and whether he'll be able to return any time this season.

Thomas has played in place of Martinez in the nickel defenses because of match-up preferences on some occasions and is the single inside linebacker in the dime package. He's not as stout as Ryan in the run game, but he's better in coverage.

There's always the possibility that defensive coordinator Dom Capers will return Clay Matthews to inside linebacker when Matthews returns from a hamstring pull. Matthews played there all last season and could play inside on early downs and outside on passing downs once again.

It's still unclear when Matthews will be available to play again. He has missed three straight weeks and four weeks overall.

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Guard T.J. Lang (ankle) and tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) both left the game Sunday. Lang was on crutches and wearing a walking boot as he watched the remaining portion of the game Sunday.

McCarthy had no update on Lang's situation, but it wouldn't be surprising if he were out for a while.

Bakhtiari said he was doing better Monday and would see how the week goes. He said he tried to gut it out for a few plays after suffering the injury in the fourth quarter but eventually realized he couldn't do it.

"Just figured I needed to get more support on it, and it started setting in more," Bakhtiari said of his knee ailment. "They figured, ‘We should shut you down.’"

Asked about his chances this week, said he wasn't thinking about being a hero to a team in need, but rather just doing what he needed to do to play Sunday.

"I’m not really focused on that," he said. "For me, it’s just to get myself ready day-to-day so I can go out there. Hopefully go out and play Sunday and give the team the best that I’ve got."

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