Packers rule out Clay Matthews, Morgan Burnett

ByRob Demovsky ESPN logo
Saturday, September 24, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews tried to show the Green Bay Packers he could function despite ankle and hamstring injuries. But Saturday did not go as he had hoped.

Instead, he was ruled out for the home opener Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

So was safety Morgan Burnett, who has a hamstring injury.

Matthews couldn't finish the Week 2 game at Minnesota. He injured his left ankle early in the game but returned after the Packers trainers taped it. However, he then took himself out of the game with less than two minutes remaining because of the hamstring injury.

Matthews did not practice all week but had planned to try to work out on Saturday.

"Clay wants to give it a shot tomorrow on the practice field to see where he is," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday.

Matthews hasn't missed a game since he sat out the final two games of the 2013 season after he broke his thumb for the second time that season.

Hamstring injuries dogged Matthews early in his career. He missed practice time as a rookie in 2009 because of hamstring injuries and missed a game in 2010 for the same reason. He last missed a game because of a hamstring injury late in the 2012 season.

In his return to outside linebacker this season after spending the previous year and a half on the inside, Matthews has a sack in each of the first two games.

Also, the Packers downgraded two other defensive players: DE Letroy Guion and DE/OLB Datone Jones. Both have knee injuries and are now doubtful after initially listed as questionable.

Cornerback Sam Shields already was ruled out because of the concussion he sustained in Week 1.