“Yes, I plan to play,” Matthews said on Thursday after practicing fully in pads. “I’ll be out there this Sunday. It’s feeling good.”
In 2012, the same hamstring injury was graded worse. It kept him out of four games and hindered him when Matthews did play. But following the Packers’ bye, Matthews says he’s a go and appears to have his coach’s blessing, too.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said he was “optimistic” Matthews could play. The Packers also should be getting back running back Eddie Lacy, who is listed as probable and should split carries with Johnathan Franklin.
And now here’s a look at the rest of the major injuries in Sunday’s games:
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears: Bears receiver Brandon Marshall has a painful foot injury, but he’s expected to play. Defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe) and corner Charles Tillman (groin/knee) are both questionable. For the Saints, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (calf), safety Roman Harper (knee), running back Mark Ingram (toe) and receiver Lance Moore (hand) are out again. Corner Keenan Lewis (hip) could play; he’s questionable.
New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals: The Patriots might still be without (broken record) Rob Gronkowski, and Stevan Ridley (thigh) has been ruled out, but the Bengals are still banged up on defense. Corner Leon Hall (hamstring) is doubtful; defensive end Michael Johnson (concussion) and corner Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) are questionable. The good news for the Patriots is that Danny Amendola might return to the fold, but Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson are banged up.
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts: Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw will miss a few weeks with a neck injury, and safety LaRon Landry (high ankle sprain) is out, too. The Seahawks will be without right tackle Breno Giacomini (knee), who is out, and could miss special-teams ace Jeremy Lane (hamstring), who is doubtful. Center Max Unger (arm) might gut it out, but he’d be playing hurt.
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins: Once again, Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake is a question mark with a knee sprain. The Ravens have two players as doubtful and nine more as questionable. Among the questionable players, receiver Brandon Stokley, defensive tackle Marcus Spears and linebacker Albert McClellan didn’t practice Friday, so they are the ones to watch.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: Might the 0-4 Giants be without three of their top corners? Corey Webster (groin), Aaron Ross (back) and Jayron Hosely (hamstring) all did not practice Friday. Offensive guard Chris Snee won’t play, and his season might be over, too. Center David Baas (back) also is a big question. The Eagles come in relatively healthy.
Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams: For the Jags, Marcedes Lewis is out again, but all signs point to Cecil Shorts (groin) should be a go. Rams corner Cortland Finnegan, who injured his thigh last week, is doubtful to play.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans: The big one is Jake Locker, who will be out a few weeks and replaced for now by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Chiefs list 14 players, including a slew of regulars, on the injury report, but they might be in decent shape. Three starters, however, are listed as questionable: cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee), safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle) and tight end Anthony Fasano (ankle/knee). Right tackle Eric Fisher (concussion) will miss his first NFL game.
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals: The Panthers have ruled out three defensive contributors — defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (hamstring), safety Quintin Mikell (ankle) and corner D.J. Moore (knee) — but should have defensive end Greg Hardy, who missed some practice time with an illness this week. He’s probable. The return from suspension of Daryl Washington couldn’t have come at a better time. Linebackers Jasper Brinkley (groin) and Kevin Minter (hamstring) are questionable. So, too, are offensive guard Daryn Colledge (shin), defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (groin) and safety Rashad Johnson (finger).
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys: It’s looking more like Cowboys receiver Miles Austin will miss a second straight game with his hamstring injury. Linebacker Justin Durant also is in question. Broncos corner Champ Bailey (foot) might make his season debut this week.
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Willis (groin) will be a game-time decision after missing a few weeks of action. The Texans are hoping to have left tackle Duane Brown (toe) and wideout Andre Johnson (shin), but both are questionable.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders: Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (concussion) will start. Darren McFadden (hamstring) still could play late Sunday night, but if not, it will be Rashad Jennings, who has been taking the majority of snaps in practice. Center Stefen Wisniewski (knee) likely won’t go. Chargers corner Shareece Wright and offensive guard Jeromey Clary are hopeful to play, and if Clary goes the Chargers would be using their fourth different offensive-line combo.
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