Pregame warmup: Final update before Packers-Ravens kickoff

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 13, 2013 – 10:59 am

The Packers will try to get their first road win since Week 15 of last season today at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.

Key injury

LB Clay Matthews (broken thumb) is out for the first of what may be 3-4 games, leaving Nick Perry and Mike Neal to start at the outside linebacker spots. The duo combined for three sacks vs. Detroit last week, including two from Perry, who got both of his sacks from Matthews’ spot on the right side of the defense. The Ravens will start a new LT today, former Jacksonville first-round draft pick Eugene Monroe, to replace veteran Bryant McKinnie, who is inactive. The Perry vs. Monroe matchup will be key.

Around the NFC North

At 2-2, the Packers are looking to get above .500 for the first time this season and need a win to stay one-half game behind the Bears in the NFC North race. Chicago is already 4-2 following a Thursday night win over the Giants. Detroit (3-2) will look to stay even with the Bears with a road game at Cleveland, the Packers’ opponent next week. Lions WR Calvin Johnson, who missed last week’s game against the Packers, is active and will play. Minnesota (1-3) hosts Carolina, and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has said he’ll play despite the death earlier this week of his 2-year-old son. Peterson is active for the game.

Weather update

It’s drizzing in Baltimore during pregame, but the rain is expected to stop by kickoff. The day’s forecast calls for clouds with temperatures in the 60s and winds at 10-12 mph.

Special teams shuffling

With the Packers’ injuries at linebacker, some shuffling will be required on the special-teams units. Jamari Lattimore is starting at inside linebacker in place of Brad Jones, so his absence on special teams, along with the absence of Robert Francois — who is out for the season — likely elevates rookie Sam Barrington into a special-teams role, along with outside LBs Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer, also rookies. Also, special-teams ace Jarrett Bush is out with a hamstring injury, with recent practice-squad signing James Nixon now on the active roster. Adjusting on special teams is part of the game in the NFL, and the Packers will be counting on a greater number of rookies than usual on the return and coverage units today.

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