Mike Neal

The Green Bay Packers are thin at outside linebacker. That’s an understatement. And now Mike Neal is hurt.

The Packers will be without Clay Matthews, who’s out two to three more weeks with a broken thumb. They’ll be without Nick Perry, who broke his foot on Sunday.

That leaves them with undrafted rookie Andy Mulumba and former defensive lineman Mike Neal as starters this week. That is, if Neal can go.

Neal has a bruised shoulder and hasn’t practiced yet this week. Coach Mike McCarthy says Neal hasn’t been ruled out yet, though.

“He’s getting better. I’m hopeful he’ll practice tomorrow,” McCarthy said.

If Neal can’t go, the Packers would be forced to turn to rookie Nate Palmer.

Palmer was a sixth-round pick this season out of Illinois State. He’s been active for just two games, but hasn’t recorded a stat. Should this worry you?


Neal, meanwhile, has started to look like a playmaker. He has 11 tackles, a sack and an interception this season.

Thankfully, it’s the Cleveland Browns and Brandon Weeden coming to town this week.