Pregame warmup: Clay Matthews, Damarious Randall among several defenders sitting out

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 13, 2015 – 5:35 pm

FOXBORO, Mass. — Packers LB Clay Matthews returned to practice this week after missing a full week with a sore knee, but he won’t be playing in the preseason opener Thursday night against the Patriots. Rookie first-round draft pick CB Damarious Randall also will not play due to a groin injury.

Both players were among the 13 who did not travel out east with the team.

The secondary and defensive line are the thinnest positions. In addition to Randall, CB Tay Glover-Wright, S Sean Richardson and CB Demetri Goodson are also out. Up front, DE Mike Daniels and DT Letroy Guion stayed home due to injuries as well.

Special position: It seems every year a somewhat unknown outside linebacker emerges during preseason games and makes a strong bid for a roster spot. A few years ago, there were Vic So’oto and Dezman Moses. More recently there were Andy Mulumba and Jayrone Elliott, who had five sacks in the preseason last year.

If outside linebacker is going to be that position again, keep an eye on Jermauria Rasco, James Vaughters and Adrian Hubbard. Rasco and Vaughters are undrafted rookies who have had their moments early in camp, especially Rasco. Hubbard was an undrafted rookie who spent last season on the practice squad. He has missed some time in camp due to injury but was back on the practice field this week.

Last visit: The Packers’ last trip to Gillette Stadium was in Week 15 of 2010, when Matt Flynn started at QB in place of Aaron Rodgers, who was out with a concussion. The Packers lost the game, but it was their final loss that season as they went on to win Super Bowl XLV.

The two teams last met in the preseason in 2005, and the last preseason meeting in New England was all the way back in 1993.

Gold number: The number 50 on the 50-yard line at Gillette Stadium is colored gold, part of the NFL’s yearlong celebration of the upcoming Super Bowl 50.

What to watch for: Packers.com’s preview coverage over the last couple of days has included stories on players to watch on offense and defense, plus the return of “Final Thoughts” on video. Here are the links:

Offense/special teams: Lots of eyes on Ty Montgomery in preseason opener

Defense: It’s about stopping the run for defense

Video: Final Thoughts


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