Matthews, Bakhtiari don't play against Steelers

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers rookie linebacker Jake Ryan (47) talks with teammate Clay Matthews during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.

Clay Matthews will have to wait at least another week to see his first action of the 2015 preseason.

The Packers linebacker was one of 10 players who didn't make the trip to Pittsburgh. He sat out of last week's opener in New England because of knee soreness and was limited in practice this week with an elbow issue.

Staying behind with Matthews were outside linebacker Nick Perry (groin), left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), defensive lineman Mike Daniels (ankle), tight end Justin Perillo (concussion), receivers Jared Abbrederis (concussion) and Javess Blue (shoulder), and defensive backs Demetri Goodson (calf) and Kyle Sebetic (ankle).

Sitting out of the exhibition season is nothing new for Matthews. It's actually the 13th preseason game Matthews has sat out of during his first seven NFL seasons. Aside from Matthews, Perry was the only other player who practiced this week that didn't make the trip.

Extra points

■ Tim Masthay feels he's corrected most of the issues that plagued him during his nightmarish end to last season, but one still lingers.

The Packers punter admittedly is struggling when kicking the ball to the right side of the field. Punting from his own 31 on Sunday, his final of eight attempts went only 29 yards after it bounced near the right sideline and backward to the Steelers' 40.

Masthay felt good in pregame warmups and punted the ball well to other parts of the field. He booted a punt 70 yards after a safety, forcing Pittsburgh to start its second series at its own 24-yard line. He averaged 43.3 gross and 40.6 net yards with one touchback and one punt inside the 20.

"The game was sort of a microcosm of the past year," Masthay said. "I struggled going right. The last one was the one where I really made a mistake. The other ones we at least hit it a decent distance and covered it well. But the last one was a bad mistake."

The Packers committed themselves to Masthay when they cut former Alabama punt Cody Mandell two weeks ago, but he knows the competition is far from over. He has to get straightened out.

"I thought things were going well and I struggled going right," Masthay said. "I don't have answers for that right now. I'm trying to find them myself. I gotta figure it out quick."

■ If Alonzo Harris is going to win the Packers' third-string job at running back, he'll need to catch the football as well as he carries it.

The Packers thought enough of the undrafted rookie to give him the first shot behind Eddie Lacy and James Starks on Sunday, but he was disappointed with his performance after dropping two passes out of the backfield.

The first came off a screen on his first snap. It appeared he'd have a chance at an explosive play if he hauled it in.

"Dropping those two balls, that's something I have to fix," said Harris, who had seven carries for 41 yards and a touchdown last week against New England. "I just have to fix it. I take it how it is. I can't sugarcoat it."

■ The Packers sat both of their defensive linemen who could be subject to possible suspension during the first half against Pittsburgh.

Letroy Guion and Datone Jones rotated in only after B.J. Raji, Mike Pennel, Josh Boyd, Bruce Gaston and Khyri Thornton took snaps with the starting defense. Jones is suspended for the regular-season opener because of a marijuana citation, while Guion is appealing a three-game ban for a February arrest in Starke, Fla.

■ Undrafted linebacker James Vaughters took reps inside for the first time in the waning moments of Sunday's game. He's been primarily working as an outside rusher since mini-camp.

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