GREEN BAY, WI (LEARFIELD-WSAU)Various media reports say Green Bay Packers' linebacker Clay Matthews would need surgery on a thumb he broke in Sunday's home win over Detroit. E-S-P-N said Matthews would be out for a month.
Coach Mike McCarthy did not give a time frame during his news conference yesterday. He said every hand injury is different, depending on the bones involved -- and the coach said he hopes it would not end Matthews' season.
He was hurt while sacking Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford at the end of the third quarter. Matthews injured a hamstring September 22nd at Cincinnati, which did not appear to bother him this past Sunday.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said it's encouraging that Mike Neal is making good strides at outside linebacker, moving from his old defensive end spot. Capers said Neal and second-year linebacker Nick Perry both played their best games against the Lions -- and they'll need to be ready on Sunday, when the Packers play at Baltimore.
Perry had two sacks against the Lions, and Neal one. Green Bay has 12 sacks this season, three of which have come from Matthews. The Packers signed corner James Nixon to their 53-man roster yesterday. He was promoted from the practice squad, after linebacker Robert Francois was put on season-ending injured reserve with a torn Achilles tendon suffered in Sunday's win over Detroit.
Nixon has spent parts of the last two seasons on the Green Bay practice squad. He becomes the seventh corner on the roster.
The Packers remain thin at inside linebacker at the moment. Starter Brad Jones' playing status is still uncertain, after he injured a hamstring against the Lions. Francois was Jones' replacement.
Third-year pro Jamari Lattimore replaced Francois and had a tackle. Lattimore could get a start at Baltimore on Sunday if Jones cannot return.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the Packers tried out former Wisconsin linebacker Mike Taylor yesterday, but did not sign him. It was Taylor's first tryout with an N-F-L team. He had sports hernia surgery in January and March.