- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Clay Matthews appears ready to return to the field for the Green Bay Packers after the long-haired linebacker sat out another game with a hamstring injury.

Matthews was just a spectator for last week’s loss in Atlanta . The decision was made out of an abundance of caution, especially given the Packers will play straight through the end of the regular season without a break following an early bye week.

“I think we didn’t want a setback moving forward,” Matthews said after practice on Thursday. “Obviously feel much better this week, able to get more team reps, and feel good about what we’ve done thus far in the week. So, all indications are pointing to me being out there on Sunday.”

If Matthews plays against Indianapolis on Sunday, he could have a big day against the Colts and their questionable offensive line. Andrew Luck was sacked six times last week by the Kansas City Chiefs.

In Matthews, the Packers (4-3) would get back one of their best pass rushers. He has three sacks in five games this season.

There’s a trickle-down effect that could also have an impact on the banged-up secondary. Green Bay is without top cornerbacks Sam Shields (concussion) and Damarious Randall (groin). Quinten Rollins (groin) was limited in practice for a second straight week. Demetri Goodson hasn’t practiced because he’s in the concussion protocol.

A healthy pass rush could make Luck force throws and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

“I’m not sure what the status is on (Rollins) this week, but you know we’re short-handed on the back end. It’s going to take all guys to get after (Luck), get him uncomfortable,” said Matthews, who was limited in practice.

Matthew also missed the victory in Week 3 over Detroit.

NOTES: Guard T.J. Lang was limited in practice after sitting out Wednesday because of a nagging sore hip. Lang said he wanted to get few reps with center Corey Linsley, who figures to be activated from the reserve/physically unable to perform list before the Colts game. Linsley is in line to reclaim his starting job because JC Tretter has a knee injury. … WRs Ty Montgomery (illness) and Randall Cobb (hamstring) were limited in practice for a second straight day. … Two other key offensive players returned to practice after missing several weeks: TE Jared Cook (ankle) and RB James Starks (knee). Both players were limited.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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