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Packers-Vikings Monday injury report: Matthews unscathed

Sep 29, 2014 -- 6:05pm
 
Photo/Getty Images  
Clay Matthews’ groin wasn’t an issue during Sunday’s victory over the Bears, but he was limited to 52 snaps.
 

GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy wasn’t limiting Clay Matthews’ snaps Sunday because he’d be playing in another game four days later.

Rather, the Green Bay Packers coach said Monday that the plan with his four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker was to keep Matthews on a snap count but allow the player to have a say in how much he played.

As a result of that management, Matthews should be good to go Thursday against Minnesota – even if that wasn’t the reason for having him play only 52 of the team’s 77 defensive snaps in Sunday’s 38-17 victory.

“We’ve done this in the past, and in hindsight it was wrong. We’d try to calculate and save this guy and it was part of our diagnosis on if this guy was going to play,” McCarthy explained Monday. “I mean, every game is important. You get 16 games to play. So if you’re healthy, you’re playing. And if you’re not 100 percent healthy, then like Clay was, Clay communicated very well and we set a good plan based on a lot of it was his input.

“He’s a veteran. He knows his body better than anybody. … I’m not saving players for the next week. That’s not the way we operate now.”

Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Monday, with the Packers’ participation as an approximation since they did not practice:

Packers
Did not participate:  LB Sam Barrington (hamstring), DT Josh Boyd (knee), WR Jarrett Boykin (groin).
Limited participation: LB Brad Jones (quadriceps), LB Clay Matthews (groin).
 
Vikings
Did not participate: QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle), LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib), CB Captain Munnerlyn (illness), TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen, groin).
Limited participation:  RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle), CB Josh Robinson (hamstring).
Full participation:  RB Jerome Felton (knee), LB Michael Mauti (foot), WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), LB Brandon Watts (knee).

McCarthy said he had not gone into the training room to get an update on Matthews or any of the other injured players listed. The team announced no new injuries after the game Sunday.

Matthews made it through the game unscathed and even had a critical interception off a Jay Cutler pass that was deflected by cornerback Tramon Williams. It appeared Matthews slowed up late in the 40-yard return to protect the groin that he initially injured against Detroit on Sept. 21.

“I thought we were smart in the way we utilized him,” McCarthy said. “Obviously [Matthews] made a huge play in the game with the turnover. I thought it turned out pretty good.”

Packers-Bears Friday injury report: Matthews a go

Sep 26, 2014 -- 5:39pm
 
Photo/Getty Images 
Clay Matthews’ groin injury didn’t prevent him from taking part in Wednesday’s practice.
 

GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews is good to go – which is bad for the Chicago Bears.

The Green Bay Packers four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker, who left last week’s game at Detroit with a mild groin injury, pronounced himself ready to play in Sunday’s game at Soldier Field after practicing on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday and going through non-practice walkthrough work Friday. The Packers will practice on Saturday for about an hour before departing for Chicago.

“Provided there’s no setbacks, I expect myself to be out there on Sunday,” Matthews said during a lengthy stay in the locker room during the media availability period Friday. “It feels good, progressively getting better throughout the week and more confident and comfortable being out there.

“[Thursday] was a big step in the right direction from Wednesday, and today I’m sure would have been [if the Packers had practiced]. As you know, what we’re doing with our schedule, I think it’s good for me. And then tomorrow we’ll fly around, break a sweat and feel good going into Sunday. I don’t anticipate there being any problems.”

That’s bad for the Bears. Matthews has 7.5 sacks in eight career games (seven of them victories) against the Chicagoans.

Here’s the full, official injury report from Friday:

Packers
Questionable:  ILB Brad Jones (quadriceps), WR Jarrett Boykin (knee).
Probable:  OLB Clay Matthews (groin), OLB Nick Perry (wrist), CB Davon House (knee), RT Bryan Bulaga (knee).
 
Bears
Out: C/G Roberto Garza (ankle), LB Shea McClellin (hand), CB Sherrick McManis (quadriceps), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), G Matt Slauson (ankle).
Questionable:  S Chris Conte (shoulder), DE Jared Allen (illness), WR Brandon Marshall (ankle).
Probable:  S Ryan Mundy (shoulder), DE Trevor Scott (foot).

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was also encouraged by Matthews’ progress.

“So far, so good," McCarthy said. "The medical review, the report today was good on Clay. We still have 48 hours, so we're confident that he'll be ready to go. But like I said, he's still working through it."

The news wasn’t as encouraging on Boykin, who started the week on the injury report with a knee injury but apparently suffered a groin injury in practice on Thursday. Had the Packers practiced on Friday, he would not have been able to go, McCarthy indicated, which was not a good sign. If Boykin can’t practice Saturday, the Packers would activate rookie seventh-round pick Jeff Janis for the first time this season and could call up one of their practice-squad wide receivers, Myles White or Kevin Dorsey. The Packers would have to make that roster move by Saturday.

“Jarrett was injured yesterday, so we’ll give him to Sunday to see if he can go,” McCarthy said.

With Jones questionable, Jamari Lattimore is expected to make his third straight start at inside linebacker.

Packers-Bears Thursday injury report: Matthews says he 'will be out there'

Sep 25, 2014 -- 4:07pm
 
Photo/Associated Press via ESPN.com 
Clay Matthews expects to play against Chicago Sunday after taking part in practice in pads Thursday.
 

GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews’ timing might have been a little off – another 30 seconds, and he wouldn’t have had a threesome of reporters talking ot him as they were being ushered out of the Green Bay Packers locker room Thursday afternoon – but the Packers outside linebacker’s mind was made up: He plans on playing Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

“I’ll be out there,” Matthews said with a smile after mulling his brief soundbite.

Matthews, who left last week’s game at Detroit with a groin injury, practiced for the second consecutive day Thursday, although he was listed as a limited participant. He seemed to be in a good mood as he joked with three reporters about why he hadn’t been in the locker room for his usual Thursday media availability session.

Here’s a look at the full, official injury report for Thursday:

Packers
Limited participation:  ILB Brad Jones (quadriceps), OLB Clay Matthews (groin), OLB Nick Perry (wrist).
Full participation:  WR Jarrett Boykin (knee), CB Davon House (knee), RT Bryan Bulaga (knee).
 
Bears
Did not participate: DE Jared Allen (illness), C/G Roberto Garza (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (ankle), LB Shea McClellin (hand), CB Sherrick McManis (quadriceps), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), G Matt Slauson (ankle).
Limited participation:  S Chris Conte (shoulder).
Full participation: S Ryan Mundy (shoulder), DE Trevor Scott (foot).

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Matthews went through the individual drill portions of practice Thursday but didn’t say how much 11-on-11 team work he received, if any.

“He’s moving good,” McCarthy said.

In Chicago, the only change to the team’s injury report was with Mundy, who was able to practice in full after being limited on Wednesday. Given the injuries in the secondary, having Mundy would certainly help the Bears in the back end.

Coach Marc Trestman told Chicago-area reporters that he was "not optimistic" about Garza and Slauson, and while Marshall is expected to play, it's reasonable to wonder how effective he will be after catching only one pass for 6 yards on Monday night against the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, the Bears released fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) following an injury settlement.

Packers-Bears Wednesday injury report: All 52, including No. 52, work

Sep 24, 2014 -- 6:05pm
 
Photo/Rob Demovsky, ESPN.com 
Clay Matthews’ groin injury didn’t prevent him from taking part in Wednesday’s practice.
 

GREEN BAY – While the Green Bay Packers are still skating a man down following Andy Mulumba’s move to the injured reserve list, they had their full complement of players practicing on Wednesday.

That’s right, all 52 players on the roster – including the guy who wears No. 52, outside linebacker Clay Matthews – took part in practice at least on a limited basis. Whether that means Matthews will be ready for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears is unclear, but it certainly was a good sign.

Here’s the full, official injury report from Wednesday:

Packers
Limited participation:  ILB Brad Jones (quadriceps), OLB Clay Matthews (groin), OLB Nick Perry (wrist).
Full participation:  WR Jarrett Boykin (knee), CB Davon House (knee), RT Bryan Bulaga (knee).
 
Bears
Did not participate: DE Jared Allen (illness), FB Tony Fiammetta (hamstring), C/G Roberto Garza (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (ankle), LB Shea McClellin (hand), CB Sherrick McManis (quadriceps), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), G Matt Slauson (ankle).
Limited participation:  S Chris Conte (shoulder), S Ryan Mundy (shoulder).

Matthews spoke only briefly after practice but he said he “felt good” during the workout, in which he was limited to only individual drill work, apparently.

“I think it was encouraging to be out there in light of it being a few days out [from the injury],” Matthews said. “Hopefully tomorrow we’ll take another step, and that’s that.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn’t share any meaningful information about the other injuries. A club spokesman said Perry’s wrist injury is not to the same wrist that ended his rookie season in 2012.

Bulaga: 'You don't want to be a liability out there'

Sep 19, 2014 -- 4:10pm
 
Photo/Getty Images 
Bryan Bulaga is listed as questionable on the Packers’ injury report for Sunday's game at Detroit.
 

GREEN BAY – Bryan Bulaga doesn’t know if he’s playing on Sunday, but the Green Bay Packers veteran right tackle knows this for certain: He wouldn’t have a chance if he hadn’t been wearing a brace on his surgically repaired left knee when it awkwardly twisted during the Sept. 4 regular-season opener at Seattle.

Bulaga, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in training camp last year and missed all of the 2013 season, has been wearing a brace on his knee ever since. And he anticipates wearing it for a long time, perhaps for the rest of his NFL career.

“I’ll definitely say that I feel the knee brace helped. There’s no doubt about it,” Bulaga said at his locker Friday, in his first public comments since the injury against the Seahawks. “I’ve been wearing that brace since training camp. … I’ve grown accustomed to it. Don’t even notice it anymore.”

Bulaga, who suffered a season-ending hip injury midway through the 2012 season and had gone an astonishing 669 days between NFL regular-season starts before suiting up against the Seahawks, did not play last week against the New York Jets and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Lions. He practiced on a limited basis this week, just as he had last week, but moved around better and enters Saturday’s practice with more hope of playing than a week ago.

“From last week to this week, it feels a lot better. Mobility wise, strength wise, everything has just progressed really well,” Bulaga said.

“I’m not saying I’m definitely playing. We’ve got to still evaluate things that go into tomorrow and things like that.”

Unlike college, where most offensive linemen wear protective, preventative knee braces, NFL offensive linemen often do not. Bulaga, for instance, said he was required to wear them in college at the University of Iowa, but didn’t wear them in the NFL before his knee injury. Many of his Packers linemates go brace-free, too.

But Bulaga will definitely continue wearing the DonJoy-brand brace on his left knee, even after the slight tear in his medial collateral ligament heals. He said Friday that he knew at the time of the injury that he had avoided a re-tearing of his ACL.

“When it first happened, initially I thought I got a charley-horse or kicked in the thigh,” Bulaga said. “I kind of tried to get back up and wasn't able to. But I didn't think it was going to be anything serious. I certainly didn't feel the same way that I did a year ago. Yeah, I wasn't too nervous about it."

After sitting out for the better part of two seasons, Bulaga insisted he won’t make a hasty, I-want-to-play decision about giving it a go on the knee. When he practiced last week, he did so knowing he probably wouldn’t play.

“I had to go out there and give it a shot, see how it felt,” Bulaga said of last week’s practices. “I went out there Wednesday, went out there Thursday and went back out Saturday and at the end of the day, it just didn’t feel right. So that was kind of the decision on that.”

Bulaga vowed that despite his desire to play after such a long layoff that he would not play if he wasn’t healthy enough.

“I think it’s definitely something that Doc (Pat) McKenzie and I have talked about, for sure,” Bulaga said. “I’ve taken his advice and opinions on every step of the way here, kind of what he’s feeling and kind of how I’m feeling as we’re going through the week here. I definitely wouldn’t put myself out there or wouldn’t suggest to put myself out there if I didn’t feel 100 percent comfortable. It’s just how I am.

“It sounds bad, you don’t want to be a liability out there. You’ve got responsibilities out there for the guy next to you and the guy behind you. So I wouldn’t put myself out there if I didn’t feel like I was ready to go.”

Packers-Lions Friday injury report: Bulaga questionable

Sep 19, 2014 -- 3:19pm
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Bryan Bulaga is listed as questionable on the Packers’ injury report.
 

GREEN BAY – Right tackle Bryan Bulaga and cornerback Casey Hayward are 50/50 propositions to play in the Green Bay Packers’ game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.

Hayward and Bulaga were estimated as “limited” participants for Friday’s non-existent practice. Coach Mike McCarty did away with Friday practices this season in favor of Saturday’s practices, and that workout will be critical to the medical staff’s decisions on Bulaga and Hayward.

“[They’re] in the same boat, they’re progressing well,” McCarthy said Friday morning. “[Thursday] went well. Obviously they’re having treatments today, extended treatments. But they have to get through the whole thing [Saturday]. That’s the only hurdle left.”

Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Friday:

Packers
Out:   OLB Andy Mulumba (knee), ILB Brad Jones (quadriceps).
Questionable:  CB Casey Hayward (glute), RT Bryan Bulaga (knee).
Probable:  S Micah Hyde (knee).
 
Lions
Out: LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps), T LaAdrian Waddle (calf), CB Cassius Vaughn (ankle).
Doubtful: S James Ihedigbo (neck), FB Montell Owens (hamstring).
Questionable:  DE George Johnson (groin), DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), DT Nick Fairley (biceps).
Probable:  RB Joique Bell (knee), S Don Carey (hamstring).

McCarthy said Jamari Lattimore will make his second consecutive start in Jones’ place. He said Lattimore “did a nice job” against the New York Jets last week.

Meanwhile, McCarthy wasn’t surprised that Hyde, who left the Jets game with a bruised kneecap, was able to practice all week and will play.

“Micah’s personality, he’s the type you’re going to have to cut his arm off to keep him off the field,” McCarthy said. “I had confidence that he’d back.

If Bulaga can’t go and misses his second straight game, Derek Sherrod would again get the start at right tackle.

“Derek’s ready to go,” McCarthy said. “He’s prepared and ready to go…. I definitely think he took a huge step from Week 1 to Week 2. He had a lot of work this week, too, because [only has done] limited, limited reps. He’s getting better. I feel good about Derek, the direction he’s going.”

Future uncertain, Raji focuses on here and now

Sep 18, 2014 -- 8:54pm
 
Photo/Getty Images 
B.J. Raji's season is over, and he knows his Packers career might be, too. Still, he's sticking around to help the young defensive linemen.
 

GREEN BAY – B.J. Raji would love to come back to the Green Bay Packers next season, but for now, the injured nose tackle is focused on a temp job with them: Unofficial assistant defensive line coach.

Raji, who ruptured the biceps tendon in his right arm during the team’s Aug. 22 preseason game against Oakland and underwent season-ending surgery two weeks ago to reattach the tendon to the bone, told reporters in the locker room Thursday that he is hoping the Packers bring him back next season. Raji, the Packers’ 2009 top draft pick, re-signed with the team this spring after finding a very soft free-agent market.

Instead of having a renaissance season back at nose tackle and parlaying his one-year, $4 million prove-it deal into a more lucrative contract next spring, Raji is unlikely to find much outside interest coming off an injury that he said carries a six- to nine-month rehabilitation.

So for now, Raji intends to stick around and help along the Packers young defensive line, which has veteran Letroy Guion, third-year man Mike Daniels, second-year men Datone Jones and Josh Boyd and undrafted rookie Mike Pennel.

“I would love to be a Packer, but obviously who knows at this point,” Raji told reporters Thursday, in his first public comments since the injury. “I’m more worried about my rehab and just being around the team and trying to be a help to the young guys. We have a young D-Line; outside of Letroy, we really have a young group. I feel like at times they could use some guidance.”

Raji, meanwhile, could use some good fortune. He said team physician Dr. Pat McCarthy told him the night of the injury that he was 90 percent sure that Raji had ruptured the tendon, and that’s exactly what happened. The surgery reattached the tendon, and now Raji is waiting for scar tissue to build up so he can begin rehabbing.

Raji said had it merely been a tear of the biceps muscle, he could have been placed on injured reserve with the designation to return and only missed six to eight weeks with the injury. Instead, his season is over.

Now, he admits he wonders if his Packers career is, too.

"It's obviously crossed my mind, like you know potentially I could be seeing my last games at Lambeau," Raji said. "I've thought about it, but it's not my primary concern at this point. My primary concern is being around the team, trying to help when I can, still traveling with the team. Being around the team, that's going to help a lot, but also making sure that when I'm cleared to work out that I do everything I can to ensure that I'm in shape."

Raji, 28, said he’s been told he’ll make a 100 percent recovery from the injury. He believes he has plenty of football still ahead of him.

“I'm not really worried about bouncing back from this injury,” Raji said. “I'm more focused on my rehab, staying in shape, not getting completely out of shape. I think that the way, knock on wood, the way my career has been going up to this point, this injury being an anomaly. I've done pretty well from an injury standpoint, so I believe the way that I'm built, number one, and just the way my body holds up physically, the type of work I do in the offseason I can play a number of more years.”

Tags: B.J. Raji

Packers-Lions Thursday injury report: Hayward works

Sep 18, 2014 -- 6:26pm
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Casey Hayward didn’t practice on Wednesday, but by Thursday he was able to work on a limited basis.
 

GREEN BAY – Casey Hayward was back practicing in a limited fashion on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean the Green Bay Packers third-year cornerback is cleared for takeoff in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Hayward, who started having problems with a glute muscle during last week’s victory over the New York Jets and played only on special teams as a result, participated on a limited basis after not practicing Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Thursday:

Packers
Out:   OLB Andy Mulumba (knee).
Did not participate:  ILB Brad Jones (quadriceps).
Limited participation:  CB Casey Hayward (glute), RT Bryan Bulaga (knee).
Full participation:  S Micah Hyde (knee).
 
Lions
Did not participate: DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps), T LaAdrian Waddle (calf), DE George Johnson (groin), CB Cassius Vaughn (ankle).
Limited participation:  RB Joique Bell (knee), DT Nick Fairley (biceps), S James Ihedigbo (neck), FB Montell Owens (hamstring).
Full participation:  S Don Carey (hamstring).

McCarthy said he couldn’t’ say how Hayward, Bulaga or Hyde looked in practice, although the fact that all three participated was encouraging. Hyde, who pronounced himself ready to play on Wednesday, was a full participant.

“Before viewing the film, I can’t give you an accurate assessment of Casey, Micah and Bryan,” McCarthy said. “But I know they participated and what was laid out for them.”

'Smart' Matthews adjusting to new role

Sep 17, 2014 -- 6:18pm
 
Photo/Getty Images  
Clay Matthews enters Sunday’s game at Detroit with one sack and five quarterback hurries in two games.
 

GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews nodded and smiled. He wasn’t about to be tricked.

Not many players have come into the Green Bay Packers locker room more polished than Matthews when it comes to dealing with the media. Having played at USC and grown up with a dad and an uncle who spent nearly 40 combined seasons playing in the NFL, Matthews knows how to answer – or not answer – reporters’ questions.

So after standing in the Packers locker room Wednesday – the first time he’s spoken with reporters en masse since before the season opener – Matthews replied to query after query after query about his new, malleable role in the Packers’ defense.

To be clear: Matthews came nowhere near questioning defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ decision to reduce the number of passing plays on which he gets after the quarterback – through two games, Matthews has dropped into coverage at a higher rate (27.5 percent) than he did during the previous four seasons. And Matthews sounded like he genuinely thinks the idea of moving him around the defense is a good one – although his reply about being off the line of scrimmage wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of that portion of the plan.

Then, near the end of the Q&A session, it was pointed out to Matthews that he is too smart to publicly say that he is unhappy in his role, if he were indeed unhappy or concerned about it. Cue the smile and nod.

“See now, I’m too smart that I can’t answer that question because what I say will be, ‘Well, he’s thinking this,’” Matthews replied. “I mean, listen, I’m excited that I have the opportunity to go out there, rush the passer, do everything that I can do. At the end of the day, I love making plays, I love getting after the quarterback.

“Dom and the rest of the staff will find ways for me to make plays and I think we’ll continue to see that moving forward whether it’s in coverage, rushing the passer, whatever it may be.”

That answer was a variation on everything he’d said to that point. Not once during the conversation, it should be noted, did he say he was excited about dropping into coverage, whereas he talked about his enjoyment of getting after the quarterback repeatedly.

“I think I can do it all,” Matthews said. “I think over the years, I’ve been known as a sack guy, but I think what’s been lost in the shuffle is the fact that I can cover, I can play in space and rush the passer as well.”

At another point in the conversation, Matthews said: “You see me on the left, you see me on the right, you see me in the middle, you see me covering a 7-route in one-on-one coverage. So yeah, you'll see me doing it all.”

Still, it was hard not to think that the thing Matthews does best – getting after the quarterback, with 50 sacks in his first five NFL seasons – is what he’d like to be doing most. In a comprehensive breakdown of his snaps this season as compared to past years, he’s never dropped into coverage as frequently as he did against the New York Jets on Sunday, when he rushed the passer 22 times and dropped in coverage 12 times, a drop rate of 35.3 percent.

“Ultimately it’s about mismatches, and I think over the years I’ve proven that I can rush against not only against tackles but guards, tight ends, running backs, whatever it is,” Matthews said. “We’re trying to present mismatches because if you do line someone up in the same spot for the same time, they’re just going to figure out a way to slow you down. Ultimately we need to find ways for our playmakers to make plays, and this seems to be working and it seems to be one of them.”

Matthews was later asked the same question he’d been asked at the start of organized team activity practices: If he was worried about the changes hurting his sack numbers. Here were his replies.

May 29:“I doubt I’m going to have to sacrifice statistics because I always feel like I can make my plays. But at the same time, there will be some opportunities to present some mismatches, so it may not be your traditional line-up-here, line-up-there. There might be a little more difficulty for the offense, narrowing in on certain players, especially with the personnel that we brought in, myself included moving around a little bit more and just having fun with it. It seems like we’re going to have a little more fun on defense and be able to make a few more things.”

Wednesday:“Will it affect my numbers? I don't know. We'll see. I was able to come away with one [sack] against Mike [Vick], thank you. But I'm not really worried about that because I think if you're looking at stats, I think if you look throughout the board, we're spreading them out, which I think is just as good. So PBUs, tackles, sacks, hurries, pressures, I think any time you can get the offense off their toes and put them on their heels and make them uncomfortable, that's what we're striving for as a defense.”

Hyde on playing: 'I'm in for Sunday'

Sep 17, 2014 -- 5:56pm
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Micah Hyde talks with fellow safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at practice Wednesday.
 

GREEN BAY – Micah Hyde was worried on Sunday, limping on Monday and resolute on Wednesday.

The Green Bay Packers second-year safety was concerned that the knee injury he suffered against the New York Jets might be serious – especially given that most of the Packers’ knee injuries this season have turned out to be season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligaments (Jared Abbrederis, Don Barclay, Aaron Adams, Andy Mulumba).

“I think I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous just when it first happened. When you hear ‘knee,’ it’s kind of a bad thought,” said Hyde, who was injured while saving a short punt from hitting the ground and turning into a long, field position-changing play. “After I started walking off the field, I knew I just got hit in the wrong spot. Definitely didn’t feel good, though.”

Even as he was moving gingerly the next day, Hyde expressed optimism that the injury, which ended up being a bruised kneecap, wouldn’t keep him out of Sunday’s game at Detroit. And by Wednesday, he was participating in practice, albeit on a limited basis, and certain that he would play against the Lions.

“I’m in for Sunday,” he said, crediting the team’s medical staff for getting him back up and running quickly. “I don’t think I’m the first guy to ever come through with that training staff to get hit in the kneecap. They know what they’re doing with the ice and stim and stuff like that. I’ve just been in there working with them and they’re getting me ready for Sunday.”

There’s another reason why Hyde wants to play, more than just professional pride and wanting to help the team: First-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been sharing snaps with him at safety, and Hyde, the starter throughout the offseason and training camp, isn’t ready to cede the job. Against the Jets, he played only 22 defensive snaps compared to Clinton-Dix’s 56 because of the injury.

“It’s all about wanting to play. I want to play,” Hyde said. “There’s a big difference between being injured and being hurt. That’s the way I’ve always been taught. Yeah, it might hurt a little bit right now, but I’m not injured. I can go out on Sunday. It’s going to feel better. It’s improved a lot since Monday, Sunday – so come Sunday I’ll be ready to go.”

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