The Detroit Lions had the big injury, with Calvin Johnson inactive due to a sore knee, but the Green Bay Packers sustained several blows to their defense on Sunday, chief among them Clay Matthews.
Matthews, who sat out the second half of the Week 3 game at Cincinnati after injuring his hamstring, reportedly broke his thumb. The injury wasn’t acknowledged by coach Mike McCarthy after the game. Matthews’ final play was his third-down sack of Matthew Stafford, when he blitzed untouched on the final play of the third quarter.
Matthews, who played in a rotation with Mike Neal and Nick Perry because of the hamstring, finished with five tackles. He has three sacks on the season.
Lost to the season’s injury du jour – a hamstring -- was inside linebacker Brad Jones. That injury happened during the Lions’ final drive of the first half. Jones also missed time in training camp with an injured hamstring. Casey Hayward has missed all four games due to a hamstring and Morgan Burnett made his season debut after missing the first three games with a hamstring. Also because of hamstring injuries, Jarrett Bush had missed the past two games and fullback John Kuhn returned after missing one game.
Without Jones, A.J. Hawk stayed in the game as the team’s dime linebacker.
Robert Francois replaced Jones for the first two series of the third quarter but sustained a torn Achilles on the second play of his third series. Jamari Lattimore and Hawk finished the game as the inside linebackers.
“Our defense had a number of injuries and I a number of players stepped up and played well for us,” McCarthy said. “Francois stepped up for Brad Jones. I feel terrible about Robert’s situation.”
For the first time this season, the Packers got some legit productivity from their outside linebackers opposite Matthews. Nick Perry had two sacks and Mike Neal had one, with Perry forcing a fumble on one of this sacks. Entering the game, Neal and Perry had no sacks, two quarterback hits (by Neal) and no forced fumbles.
"Regardless of who was out there on the field, we’re putting our best players out there," Perry said. "Clay goes down, there’s one more just ready to play. We’re just filling the shoes if one of our brothers is hurt or whatever it is, whether they need to come out, I think everybody that goes out there on the field knows what it takes to do a good job out there."
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