NFL Notes: Packers LB Matthews out vs. Bears

NFL Notes: Packers LB Matthews out vs. Bears
December 25, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Clay Matthews will miss his sixth game of the season Sunday when the Packers go to Chicago to decide the NFC North. (USA Today Images)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will miss Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears for the NFC North title after aggravating a right thumb injury.

Green Bay didn't practice Wednesday but issued an injury report as if it did. Matthews was listed as out.

Matthews got hurt during a sack in Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Matthews missed four games earlier this season after initially breaking the thumb in Week 5 in October.

Matthews looked to be in extreme pain on the sideline Sunday after the sack. Coach Mike McCarthy has described it as a "repeat injury."

The Packers had Christmas day off. They return to practice Thursday, when the team is also expected to announce if quarterback Aaron Rodgers is ready to return from a left collarbone injury.

Broncos: Welker returns to practice
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Wes Welker returned to the Denver Broncos practice field on Christmas Day for the first time since suffering his second concussion on Dec. 12.

He was allowed to participate on a limited basis according to the league's concussion protocol.

Also returning to practice was defensive end Derek Wolfe, who hadn't practiced since having a seizure-like episode on the team bus trip to the airport on Nov. 29.

And rookie cornerback Kayvon Webster practiced for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right thumb on Dec. 13 after breaking it in the first half against San Diego the night before.

The only player who didn't practice was backup center Steve Vallos, who sustained a concussion during Denver's 37-13 win at Houston on Sunday.

Giants: Taylor placed on IR
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have placed safety Cooper Taylor on injured reserve, about two weeks after he injured his hamstring.

The Giants announced the move Wednesday. They also signed guard Eric Herman from their practice squad to replace Taylor on the active roster, and signed defensive back Travis Howard to the practice squad.

Taylor, a fifth-round selection from Richmond last April, appeared in 10 games. He mostly played on special teams and ran back a blocked punt for a touchdown in the Nov. 10 win over Oakland.

Taylor was hurt in the Dec. 8 loss to San Diego and was inactive the last two weeks. He missed three games earlier this season with a shoulder injury.

Lions: Pettigrew's season's over
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have placed tight end Brandon Pettigrew on injured reserve, ending his season.

The five-year veteran injured an ankle late in a Nov. 16 loss to Baltimore and has not practice or played since. He finished the season with 41 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns.

The Lions practiced Wednesday with just two tight ends, Joseph Fauria and practice squad player Matt Veldman. Dorin Dickerson suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants and has not yet been cleared to return.