Micah Hyde is optimistic he’ll be ready for the Green Bay Packers’ regular-season opener in Chicago in less than two weeks.
The Packers third-year defensive back sat out of practice this week and Thursday night’s 38-10 win over New Orleans due to a neck injury he sustained early in the second quarter of last Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.
Hyde began experiencing neck spasms after colliding with the tailbone of Eagles running back Ryan Mathews on a rushed incompletion from Mark Sanchez on a third-and-15. Rookie Damarious Randall subbed in the next series and Hyde was carted to the locker room for evaluation.
Hyde, who hadn’t missed a camp practice in his first two NFL seasons, said all the tests performed on his neck came back negative. He was able to lift weights this week and hopes to be cleared in time to play against the Bears.
“I’m ready to go,” Hyde said. “Obviously I have to talk to the doctors and do all the stuff this weekend, but I feel like I’m ready to go.”
Veteran cornerbacks Sam Shields and Casey Hayward also sat out against the Saints with rookies Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter getting the most work in their stead.
Hyde wasn’t entirely sure when the injury first occurred, but his “neck just kind of got stuck” after colliding with Matthews. He was alerted to the injury after he tried to crack his neck to no avail. The rush of pain after the hit finally sent him to the sideline.
Hyde served as the Packers’ nickel cornerback last season and was among the league’s most productive punt returners. With his ability to play every spot in the secondary, Hyde is excited to build off a sophomore season in which he had 59 tackles, seven deflections and two picks.
“I’m feeling good, feeling great,” Hyde said. “Obviously it comes down to this weekend and how the treatment goes, but right now I still feel good. I’m not having any problems as of late.
-Defensive lineman Letroy Guion will be sticking around Lambeau Field during his three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Players suspended for non-PED offenses are eligible to continue using team facilities. Guion was suspended last week for his February arrest in Starke, Fla., for felony possession of marijuana.
He’ll be eligible to return to the Packers’ 53-man roster on Sept. 29, the day after Green Bay’s Sept. 28 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Until then, Guion will be placed on the reserve/suspended list this weekend.
“I ain’t going nowhere,” Guion said. “I’m going to be right here in Green Bay. Green Bay is my home now. I bought a house out here. I don’t plan on going anywhere.”
Fellow defensive lineman Datone Jones also was suspended for the Packers’ regular-season opener against Chicago because of a marijuana citation he received shortly after the team returned from the NFC title game in Seattle last January.
“It still sucks,” said Jones, who sat out of Thursday night’s preseason game with a knee injury. “I’m (ticked) that I can’t be part of this game, especially to start out the season. But I have to do my part by staying in shape and being accountable while I’m away this week and keep my focus going.”
Jones said his knee would’ve been ready to play against the Bears and should be fine for when he returns in Week 2 against Seattle.
-Punter Tim Masthay had his finest performance of the preseason, booting four punts for 43.0 gross yards per punt and a 42.0 net. He plopped two punts inside the Saints’ 20 with a long of 52 yards.
“I felt good coming into this game,” said Masthay, who had a league-low 39.8 gross average entering Thursday. “I felt confident going into all three of the previous games, too. But the practice I had prior to this game on, whenever we practiced on Wednesday, I guess it was, I felt really in control of the ball, more like myself. So I was expecting to hit the ball well tonight, and thankfully I put together a solid game.”
-Rookie receiver Larry Pinkard left in three quarter after landing awkwardly on his left shoulder and didn’t return.
Pinkard had caught a 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Hundley on the series before the injury occurred. He still was awaiting X-ray results after the game, but didn’t expect it to be serious.
“It’s just a sprain,” Pinkard said. “I should be all right by next week.”
-email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.