GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers should have significant reinforcements Sunday in Washington, barring any unforeseen setbacks.
Outside linebacker Clay Matthews is on track to return after missing the past three games with a hamstring injury. He could be joined by tight end Jared Cook, who hasn’t played since injuring his ankle Week 3. Both were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
“I thought they came out of the practice (Thursday) and did some good things,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Today and tomorrow, hopefully we’re progressing to those guys playing on Sunday.”
It isn’t a given either will play. Matthews was on track to play against the Indianapolis Colts earlier this month, but a setback in rehab turned back his recovery clock. Still, a solid week of practice – albeit in a limited fashion – was a good sign for Matthews and Cook.
McCarthy also said he has “no concerns” about left tackle David Bakhtiari’s knee injury. Bakhtiari departed last week’s game at Tennessee.
Right guard T.J. Lang (ankle) and inside linebacker Jake Ryan (ankle) will not play Sunday, McCarthy said. Lang’s absence will mean Don Barclay will likely start at right guard. Ryan’s absence leaves a thin inside linebacker group, with just rookie Blake Martinez and dime linebacker Joe Thomas on the roster.
The Packers could promoted Carl Bradford from the practice squad, though that would require releasing a player to make room on the roster. Another option would be moving Matthews to inside linebacker, something he doesn’t appear to expect.
“That’s hasn’t even been discussed or approached,” Matthews said. “It looks like Joe will be filling the void.”
Cornerback Damarious Randall (groin) and center JC Tretter (knee) were also ruled out for Sunday's game.
email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood