The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a mini-bye week after their Week-11 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. But their Week-12 opponent, the Green Bay Packers, are dealing with several key injuries after they were shut out at Lambeau Field by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
According to the Packers’ official website:
The Packers finished Sunday’s game without two of their top play-makers on defense and perhaps their most versatile offensive lineman.
Linebacker Clay Matthews (groin), defensive tackle Kenny Clark (ankle) and offensive lineman Justin McCray (knee) all exited and didn’t return in Green Bay’s 23-0 loss to Baltimore.
Matthews was the first to drop out in the first half. His departure came shortly after sacking Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco for an 8-yard loss to halt Baltimore’s first offensive series.
“I think Clay had great energy when he was in there and sparked some good momentum for our team and definitely getting the defense going,” linebacker Vince Biegel said.
McCray, making his sixth start of the season, had moved into the starting spot at right tackle after Bryan Bulaga’s season-ending knee injury. Jason Spriggs, who was activated off injured reserve on Saturday, finished the game at right tackle.
Clark played a role in the Packers containing Baltimore to only 2.2 yards per carry on 26 attempts before going down with 10 minutes, 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter after Alex Collins’ 2-yard run on second-and-1.
The former first-round pick was carted to the locker room and immediately ruled out. He leads the Packers’ defensive line with 29 tackles in nine starts this season.
“He’s one of those guys that’s been phenomenal this year,” linebacker Blake Martinez said. “He’s one of our impact players and makes a lot of plays. Huge leader. He was the captain today and gave a speech before the game. He’s definitely a big component to our defense.”
The ankle injury to defensive linemen Kenny Clark has already ruled him out of the upcoming Sunday Night Football game, whereas the other key injuries will be evaluated throughout the week.
This coming from a team already without Aaron Rodgers and several other key pieces to their collective puzzle. But it isn’t as if the Steelers don’t have their own issues. Marcus Gilbert was just suspended four games for breaking the NFL’s PED policy, Joe Haden has a fractured fibula and several other key players are questionable to return for the game this Sunday.
At this point in the season, the healthier team likely will be victorious, and in this case you have to believe the Steelers are the healthier of the two football teams.
Stay tuned to BTSC as Mike Tomlin updates the injuries for the Steelers at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.