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Matthews and Woodson Looking Unlikely to Play Sunday

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Matthews and Woodson Looking Unlikely to Play Sunday

Linebacker Clay Matthews and cornerback Charles Woodson have been limited in practice all week, and both have officially been listed as questionable for Sunday's regular season finale against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on New Year's Day.

However, their questionable status probably has more to do with the fact they're two of the most valuable and irreplaceable players on the team than it is a reflection of the severity of their injuries.

Matthews is listed as having an ankle injury and Woodson with a knee. The two have dealt with a variety of minor injuries all year long, but none severe enough to keep them out of a single game this season.

Their injuries are probably more niggling than nagging, and given the meaningless nature of the game with no playoff implications for the Packers, the coaching staff is more than likely giving their elite defenders a built-in excuse as a means of keeping them healthy for the postseason.

Not that head coach Mike McCarthy would come right out and say it.

"I think that just being smart with them throughout this week was the right thing to do," McCarthy said at his Friday press conference. "Talking to (head athletic trainer) Pepper (Burris) and (team physician Dr. Pat) McKenzie, and talking to both Charles and Clay, so we'll see how they are, and see how they are in the morning."

Keeping star players inactive isn't without precedent in the McCarthy era in Green Bay.

In the regular season finale in 2007 when the Packers hosted the Lions with a first-round bye already locked up, a cadre of current and future Pro Bowlers were on the Week 17 inactive list including Woodson, wide receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings and defensive lineman Aaron Kampman.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

It's gonna be ugly Sunday, defense-wise.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Someone will have to sit. With so many offensive linemen and linebackers projected to play and see how they perform, someone will have to be inactive. Woodson and Matthews make sense.

Nerd's Laptop's picture

I'd like to get an eyeful of So'Oto, Lattimore and Saine. That's for sure. Time for Neal to kick it into gear.

o dragao da maldade contra o santo guerrero's picture

I think they'll both play. The defense just needs to keep working on its game, I see them giving their best effort sunday.
With the way they played in the first meeting I believe they can beat the Lions even with a weak offensive showing.
We'll see.

Evan's picture

Excited to see what House can do.

Mojo's picture

It's going to be in the 20's and very windy which should add to the total unpredictablilty of this game. Whoever runs better will probably win. With CWood out do we finally see House?

Jeremy's picture

"no playoff implications for the Packers"

There are definitely minor playoff implications for the Packers in this game such as playoff seed order. Atlanta owns the tie breaker over Detroit. I would much rather see Detroit against New Orleans, and know that one of them eliminated in the first round.

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