Matthews passes first test in 'trial return'

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews visits with teammate Julius Peppers during Packers Family Night at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.

Clay Matthews got through his trial-and-error return at Monday's padded practice without any setbacks.

"Feel good, look good, play good," said the Packers linebacker shortly after practice.

Matthews was back out on Ray Nitschke Field taking reps with the first-team defense after sitting out of five padded practices last week because of knee soreness.

Matthews said he "felt pretty good" in his first padded work, but doesn't know if he'll play in Thursday's preseason opener against New England. He played 10 defensive snaps in last year's opener in Tennessee.

"You know what, any opportunity to be out there, especially in regards to preseason games, I think is very important," Matthews said. "But there's always other factors that go along with that."

Matthews, outside linebacker Mike Neal (sports hernia surgery), Jayrone Elliott (shoulder soreness) and Adrian Hubbard (groin) all returned to practice. Neal and Elliott were limited, but took a few snaps with the scout defense.

The Packers only had four outside linebackers available during Saturday night's Family Night event at Lambeau Field. Green Bay has one more padded practice scheduled for Tuesday, but it could revert to a shells practice depending on how everything aligns.

"Each and every year, it's a different position it seems like," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "This year, the outside linebacker position is really stressed. Tomorrow's practice, I'll see how everything is in the morning. We'll be possible pads, possible shells (Tuesday) and helmets the day before the game."

Mike Daniels (ankle) was the only new addition to the injury report, joining fellow defensive lineman Letroy Guion (hamstring), receivers Adrian Coxson (concussion), Jared Abbrederis (concussion), Javess Blue (shoulder) and Ricky Collins (heel), tackle Vince Kowalski (concussion), and outside linebacker Nick Perry (groin).

There was a small scare in the middle of practice when promising rookie receiver Ty Montgomery was slow to get up after a catch in a team period. He dropped out momentarily because of taking a pair of shots to his groin area.

Montgomery shook off the first one, but was down for a few moments after getting hit again by inside linebacker Nate Palmer's clubbed left hand.

"I got ran through and a guy tagged me off with a fist right in the gonads, and then I was like, OK that one hurt, but I'm going to finish, but I think a club the second time got me in the same sweet spot," Montgomery said. and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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