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Matthews Expected Back For Packers

Clay Mathews, Green Bay Packers
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers expect to have linebacker Clay Matthews back in the lineup Sunday against the Chicago Bears and coach Mike McCarthy couldn’t be happier about it.

“I thought he looked good all week,” McCarthy said Friday after the Packers held their last practice before the game. “I look for Clay to play and make an impact in the game.”

Matthews practiced the last three days without incident. The team’s top pass rusher has missed the last four games because of a recurring hamstring injury.

The first-place Packers (9-4) are looking to clinch a second straight NFC North title by beating the second-place Bears (8-5). McCarthy suggested Matthews could have his playing time limited against Chicago.

“Potentially,” McCarthy said. “I think it would be smart to watch his reps. It’s something that we’ve talked about with him personally and just a number of guys coming back (from injuries). This is a very important game, but there’s more left to be played after this game.”

Green Bay could be forced to make some more changes on their offensive line. Right guard Josh Sitton had a hip injury flare up and was held out Friday. He is questionable for the game.

Offensive lineman T.J. Lang is probable after missing Green Bay’s last game with an ankle injury. Lang had been moved from left guard to right tackle after Bryan Bulaga suffered a season-ending hip injury last month.

But Lang might be returning to his former spot Sunday since the coaches have liked what they have seen from undrafted rookie Don Barclay at right tackle after Lang was injured. Lang is in favor of starting again at left guard.

McCarthy, wouldn’t divulge his plans for how the offensive line would shake out Sunday.

Lang said he took an equal amount of reps in practice this week at guard and tackle. Evan Dietrich-Smith, who has been starting at left guard since the switch of Lang to tackle, also worked some at center and right guard in practice this week.

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