Both Clay Matthews and Mike Neal were good enough to grace the Green Bay Packers with their presence on the football field, Monday.
Matthews practiced for the first time in a week and Neal practiced for the first time since training camp began.
Matthews, one of the Packers starting inside linebackers, has been dealing with knee soreness. Everyone has gone out of their way to say the injury isn’t serious, but Matthews’ participation in today’s practice was said to be only on a “trial” basis.
In other words, if Matthews doesn’t feel good on Tuesday, he’ll go right back to watching from the sidelines.
Neal, on the other hand, didn’t pass his physical when training camp started. That was the result of offseason hernia surgery.
His absence definitely hasn’t been good for his chances of seeing an expanded role this season. After a promising 2013 campaign (47 tackles and five sacks in 10 starts), Neal was relegated to spot duty in 2014, starting only three games.
If Nick Perry gets injured — and when doesn’t Nick Perry get injured? — Neal could still prove to be valuable backup. Of course, the Packers could just decide to keep cheaper alternatives like Adrian Hubbard, Andy Mulumba and Jayrone Elliott instead.