Bad thumb keeps Packers LB Clay Matthews out
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter December 25, 2013 10:56PM
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews holds his hand after sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday. | Mike Roemer/AP
It remains to be seen if the Bears will face Aaron Rodgers when they play the Green Bay Packers in a winner-take-all regular-season finale on Sunday at Soldier Field. But the Bears already know they will not have to contend with Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews.
The Packers announced Wednesday that Matthews will not play Sunday because of a thumb injury he aggravated against the Steelers last week. Matthews had missed four games, including a 27-20 loss to the Bears at Lambeau Field on Nov. 4, after originally suffering the injury against the Lions on Oct. 6.
The Packers did not practice Wednesday but listed running back Eddie Lacy (ankle), linebackers Nick Perry (foot) and Brad Jones (ankle), defensive end/linebacker Mike Neal (abdomen) and offensive tackle Ryan Pickett (knee) as being unavailable if they had practiced.
Rodgers, who has missed the last eight games with a broken collarbone, was listed as being limited if the Packers had practiced. His status is expected to be determined Thursday.
There also is an outside chance that wide receiver Randall Cobb could return against the Bears. Cobb has missed the Packers’ last 10 games since suffering a broken leg against the Baltimore Ravens.
Cobb practiced on a limited basis last week but has not yet been activated from injured reserve. Coach Mike McCarthy indicated that Cobb would practice more this week — leading to speculation Cobb could be activated in time to play the Bears.
The Bears also did not practice Wednesday. Linebacker Lance Briggs was listed as fully participating if the Bears had practiced. Wide receiver Earl Bennett was listed as not being available for a non-injury related issue.
The Bears will resume practice Thursday at Halas Hall.