Peppers' missed practice 'not injury related'

Ryan Wood
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Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws under pressure by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers (56) at Lambeau Field.

It was a strange sight when Julius Peppers was seen standing off to the side instead of practicing Monday.

It also wasn’t his decision.

“Let’s don’t put that one on Julius, all right,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “If it was up to Julius, he would’ve been out there today.”

Peppers missed his first in-season practice since signing with the Packers before the 2014 season. The reason was listed as “not injury related” on Monday’s injury report.

With the Packers playing consecutive Thursday games, defensive coordinator Dom Capers said it was a byproduct of trying to use “good judgment” with the 35-year-old outside linebacker.

“We’ve been on a tough stretch here, you know,” Capers said. “Julius knows what he’s doing. I mean, most important thing for Julius is going into this game as fresh as possible.”

At times, Peppers can appear to be more machine than man. He towers at 6-foot-7, 287 pounds, for one. He also has a rare ability to avoid injury in a violent, often dangerous sport. Peppers has only missed two games because of injury in his 14-year career.

Peppers isn’t one to take it easy on the practice field, either. On Monday, he looked out of place standing off to the side, like a man who didn’t know what to do with himself. Yes, teammates noticed.

“They ruined his two-year streak,” linebacker Clay Matthews said. “I don’t think that was Julius’ call. I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on that. He’ll be out there (Thursday). We’re just making sure our workhorse is ready for us to get after the quarterback.” and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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