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Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and Others Out for Green Bay Packers vs. Lions

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 30:  Strong safety Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers  looks on against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on September 30, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IDecember 9, 2012

The Green Bay Packers will be without a few key players when they face the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football.

Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson have all been ruled out of Sunday’s game, according to Green Bay’s injury report.

Woodson broke his collarbone in Week 7 against the St. Louis Rams. However, he returned to practice this week and may be the most likely of the three to return next week against the Chicago Bears. It was originally said that the veteran would miss just six weeks.

Matthews has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. The linebacker has been out since Week 9 and although he didn’t practice this week, he did go through his rehab assignments, according to James Carlton of CBSSports.com.

Nelson sustained a hamstring injury in last week’s win over the Minnesota Vikings and didn’t practice all week.

Nelson battled both hamstring and ankle injuries earlier in the season. After back-to-back 100-plus-yard performances and a combined four touchdown receptions in Weeks 6 and 7, Nelson hasn’t had more than 71 receiving yards in a game since.

What does this mean for the Lions?

Detroit has one less star receiver to worry about covering, but Aaron Rodgers still has a number of other weapons to use, including Ryan Grant. The running back returned to the Packers following the loss of James Starks, who could be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, according to Carlton.

On offense, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson’s jobs will again be a little easier without Matthews rushing the quarterback and Woodson back in coverage. However, cornerback Sam Shields is listed as probable and could play in his first game since suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 6.

According to the injury report C.J. Wilson (knee) is also out, Mike Neal (shoulder) is doubtful, T.J. Lang (ankle) is questionable, Terrell Manning (shoulder) is questionable, Donald Driver (thumb) is probable and Jeff Saturday (foot) is probable.

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