Book or Hire Packers Jamari Lattimore for Appearances

Mayfield Sports client, Packers Jamari Lattimore, looks like starting LB

Packers Jamari Lattimore tackles Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on Sunday. Lattimore will probably start against the Bears."

Mark Hoffman

Green Bay— Nothing will be cast in stone until Friday, but based on the Play of Jamari Lattimore

The Packers have their weekly game management meeting on Friday, at which time they'll decide whether Jones is healthy enough to play. He returned from a two-week absence due to a thigh strain, but he has not been a full participant in practice, which in most cases is a requisite for starting.

Lattimore, who started against the New York Jets and Detroit Lions, has performed well enough at inside linebacker that the Packers don't need to rush Jones back into the lineup.

In fact, a question still remains as to whether Jones will get his job back after a poor performance to start the season. Much of that will depend on how well Lattimore plays this weekend against the Bears.

"I like the way Jamari has played," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "I think he's done a good job."

But for those who think Lattimore is the perfect replacement, there are enough instances where he wasn't as sound as he needed to be.

"Some good plays and some plays he can improve on," is how linebackers coach Winston Moss assessed Lattimore's performance thus far.

In two starts, Lattimore is third on the team in tackles with 20 and has zero sacks, pass breakups, forced fumbles or penalties. He has given the Packers a more physical player defending the run, but he isn't as experienced dropping into coverage as Jones.

Against Seattle, Jones was bad in all phases of the game and was quickly shut down the following week so the thigh injury, which had been bothering him through the latter part of training camp, could heal completely. Now he is working to get back into football shape.

"I think once Brad gets back and is healthy, it will give us more flexibility," Capers said. "I like what Jamari has done. It gives us another athlete. We'll see where Brad is from a health standpoint."

Added Moss: "Brad has only been limited in practice, how we want to integrate him back in the scheme, that's still up in the air."

Ready to roll: It appears Clay Matthews is not going to miss his first game this season due to a groin injury he suffered against Detroit

At least that's what he says.

Matthews came into the locker room — along with many of his teammates — as the media was being herded out and was pressed by a couple of reporters on whether he would be available Sunday.

One asked, are you going to play?

"Yeah, I'll be out there," Matthews said.

Listed as a limited participant, Matthews practiced for the second straight day and didn't look like he was taking anything half speed.

Coach Mike McCarthy made it seem as though Matthews was limited to individual drills only, so how much more Matthews did after reporters were kicked out of practice isn't known. But Matthews was in pads and apparently passed whatever test he felt he needed to pass to play Sunday.

Injury report: The Packers had five others on the injury report, but everyone took part in the full-pads workout Thursday.

The only players who were limited were Matthews, Jones and linebacker Nick Perry (wrist).

The Bears injury report was far more extensive.

They had seven players who did not take part in practice at all.

They were: end Jared Allen (illness), center Roberto Garza (ankle), receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle), linebacker Shea McClellin (hand), cornerback Sharrick McManis (thigh), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion) and guard Matt Slauson (ankle).

The Bears did not practice Wednesday after returning home late from a Monday night game against the New York Jets.

No worries: Until Sunday, running back Eddie Lacy had not fumbled since his fifth carry of his first professional game.

That's 326 consecutive carries (including playoffs) without a fumble.

Lacy coughed it up on his second attempt against Detroit when he ran into the back of center Corey Linsley. The ball was returned 40 yards for a touchdown.

Running backs coach Sam Gash said he hasn't spoken to Lacy about it.

"I'm not worried about Eddie being a fumbler, not by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "He knows he's a good ball carrier. He's very secure with the ball.

"It hurt him more than it hurt anybody else. That's the type of player he really is where it bothers him. And my job was to keep him coming back, and he came back and played fairly well in the game."

Gash said there has been too much focus on Lacy for failures in the running game against the Lions. He said the entire offensive group has to shoulder the blame.

Packers Jamari Lattimore

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Sept. 25, 2014
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