Packers banged-up D takes another hit with LB Nick Perry out

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Packers' banged-up defense has taken another hit with linebacker Nick Perry ruled out for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks with what coach Mike McCarthy called a ''significant hand injury.''

Perry, who leads the team with eight sacks, was also effective against the run. He got hurt in the first half of last week's win over Houston before returning after halftime playing with a heavily-wrapped left hand.

McCarthy said Wednesday that he didn't know how long Perry would be sidelined, but that the pass rusher would be re-evaluated on Monday.

The loss of Perry is the latest blow to a defense that has had injuries mount at cornerback and now linebacker. McCarthy said Clay Matthews won't practice on Wednesday or Thursday as he works through a left shoulder injury .

''Each week it's going to get better. That's the hope. As far as having a setback, it didn't help him playing in the game,'' McCarthy said. ''We'll get to Saturday and kind of see where we are. But the goal is to try to get some strength back in the shoulder.''

The addition of Perry to the injury report means the four linebackers who began the season as starters will have all missed at least a game this year. At inside linebacker, Blake Martinez has missed the last two games with a knee injury, while Jake Ryan returned last week from a two-game absence because of an ankle injury.

''They are what they are. I know nobody wants to talk about,'' McCarthy said about injuries before practice. ''Our job is to put players in position to be successful. We feel good about our plan, and plan on being successful Sunday.''

Green Bay (6-6) has won two straight games to get back to .500, holding the Eagles and Texans each to 13 points after having allowed at least 31 in four straight games, all losses.

The Packers face a critical contest against Seattle. Green Bay is tied with Minnesota for second place in the NFC North, two games back of Detroit with four games left in the regular season.

Defensive lineman-linebacker Datone Jones said the unit has improved the last two games because of better ''understanding'' of the system. Just in time, too.

''It's no secret, we just got back to .500. We lose a few games and then it's over with. So at the end of the day we all understand that,'' Jones said. ''At the end of the day we're fighting for something bigger than us, we're fighting for each other. Try to keep it up, keep grinding it out.''

Julius Peppers also could be in line for more work after the Packers managed the 15-year veteran's snaps earlier in the season. Peppers has a sack in each of his last three games.

As for Perry, the hand injury takes away from what had been a breakout season for the first-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Southern California.

''I feel terrible for Nick. He was having a great season. Clearly, his best season,'' McCarthy said. ''He's had a setback.''

INJURY REPORT

Starting RG T.J. Lang returned to practice after missing the last three games with a foot injury. ''I think maybe if I go out tomorrow and do some things and feel amazing, I can talk my way out onto the field. I probably don't see that happening. Just have to take it day by day,'' Lang said. ... C JC Tretter (knee) also returned to practice. He has missed the last five games. ... Ryan and Martinez were both limited.

QUOTABLE

''You're playing something that matters, so there's nothing that's going to keep me off the field.'' - QB Aaron Rodgers, who was limited again in practice with a left hamstring injury.

---

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.