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Packers’ Matthews makes a pit stop

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DE PERE, Wis. — Just as Clay Matthews was starting to get more up to speed on playing inside linebacker after his promising trial run the second half of last season, the All-Pro outside linebacker got hurt and is sidelined indefinitely.

Matthews didn’t practice Monday because of what Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said was knee soreness. McCarthy wouldn’t say how long Matthews would be out.

Matthews, though, said he was held out of practice for precautionary reasons and expects to be fine.

“Just taking the car into the pit stop — getting the wheels changed, getting ready for the season,” Matthews said.

It is unknown whether Matthews will be back on the field by the end of the week. The Packers hold their annual Family Night intrasquad scrimmage before a sellout crowd at Lambeau Field on Saturday night.

Their first preseason game is Aug. 13 in New England against the Patriots.

Two days into the camp practices, Matthews admitted he is still figuring out the nuances of playing inside linebacker, where he was lining up in Green Bay’s base defense alongside Sam Barrington, the lone returning starter with the overhauled position group.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers moved Matthews inside on a part-time basis down the stretch last season, yielding positive results for a previously struggling defense.

The pass-rushing standout is working at his natural spot on the outside when the Packers go with their heavily used nickel and dime packages. Converted outside linebacker Nate Palmer and touted rookie Jake Ryan is teaming with Barrington on the inside in those situational looks.

Palmer practiced Monday with his left hand visibly wrapped. Palmer said he injured the hand in practice Saturday, causing him limitations with the now-padded hand.


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