GREEN BAY – Given Clay Matthews history of hamstring problems, the last thing the already injury-plagued Green Bay Packers needed to see during Sunday’s 31-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals was their leading pass-rusher limping off the field with a hamstring injury.
Matthews, who battled injuries to his left hamstring in his rookie year of 2009 and during the 2010 season, appeared to injure his left hamstring Sunday, but there was no confirmation of that. He left the game with 37 seconds left in the first half and did not return. He did not speak with reporters after the game and coach Mike McCarthy said he did not have any information about the injury.
The Packers also lost wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who had missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury but was active Sunday, to an ankle injury and right tackle Bryan Bulaga to a hip injury. None of them returned.
Matthews’ injury is particularly disconcerting because he’d been perfectly healthy all year, not having to miss any practice time in training camp or the regular season. Matthews nearly sacked Cardinals quarterback John Skelton on the play on which he was injured, but Skelton escaped and Matthews stayed on the ground briefly before limping off the field. Matthews did return to the sideline out of uniform in the second half and did jog off the field when the game ended, so it seems unlikely that he did major damage.
McCarthy also had no update on Nelson, who went down with a right ankle injury when quarterback Aaron Rodgers shorthopped a pass to him with 5:36 left in the first quarter, or Bulaga, who suffered a hip injury with 12:09 left in the first half. It was unclear whether Bulaga would have been able to return and was held out for precautionary reasons or if he did something more serious.
With Bulaga out, Evan Dietrich-Smith came off the bench to play left guard, and left guard T.J. Lang shifted to right tackle.
The Packers’ only other injury was to tight end D.J. Williams, who said afterward that he “tweaked” the hamstring he’d injured earlier this season but that it was nothing serious.
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