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Thompson isn't a fan of Packers' 'civil wars'

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Associated Press
August 10, 2010
— Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson likes the perspective he gets of standing on the field when the Packers hold their annual Family Night scrimmage. He's just isn't thrilled about the unilateral nature of the event.

"I'm not a huge fan of it, I've got to be honest, just because I never like to see the Packers play the Packers," Thompson said Monday.


Thompson also doesn't like seeing his players get banged up in the preseason, and it was a banged-up Packers squad that returned to practice Monday. Fourteen players were missing from their 80-man roster because of various injuries.


"Football is a movement, contact sport, so things are going to happen," said Thompson, who played 10 years in the NFL.


Linebacker Clay Matthews, who led the team with 10 sacks as a rookie and earned a Pro Bowl spot last season, was on the team's extensive disabled list. He suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday's scrimmage at Lambeau Field and will be out at least two weeks, coach Mike McCarthy said.


Matthews said he was "fighting off a fullback" when the injury occurred.


"It was nothing. I didn't feel like I opened up wrong or decelerated too fast," he said. "I think it's just one of those freak things."


The injury is to the same left hamstring that troubled Matthews early in training camp last year and kept him out of the first three preseason games. The two-week prognosis would leave the Packers without Matthews for their opening two preseason games, Saturday at home against Cleveland and Aug. 21 at Seattle.


Matthews isn't sure if he will be able to return by the Aug. 26 exhibition against Indianapolis at Lambeau.


"I'll be doing everything in my power to get back," he said. "Whether that's the third (preseason) game, fourth game or the start of the regular season, I'll be ready."


McCarthy said he's confident Matthews will come off the injury strong and have another good season.


Matthews was training at left outside linebacker in the opening week of training camp after starter Brad Jones suffered a back injury on the first day. Jones has since returned and was one of only six linebackers the Packers had practice Monday.


Five players at the position were missing, including Matthews and inside starter Nick Barnett, who was given a day to rest his surgically repaired knees.


"It seems like every training camp you go through a position that gets stressed," McCarthy said.


The Packers also were short-handed at wide receiver.


Donald Driver, who received a two-year contract extension Friday, was out because of tightness in his right calf.


"I had to get an MRI, just to check it out. It's good. I'll be fine," said Driver, who had surgery on his knees in the offseason. He said he plans to practice Tuesday.


Fellow receiver Brett Swain took a hit to his surgically repaired knee in the scrimmage and didn't practice Monday, but McCarthy said Swain will be OK.


Jordy Nelson, another of the team's wideouts, returned to the field after being knocked out of the scrimmage with a bruised side caused by a hit from safety Charlie Peprah on a long pass completion. Though he still had soreness Monday, Nelson felt he needed to practice because of the attrition at his position.


"You don't ever want anyone getting hurt, and we're getting a couple of guys banged up," Nelson said. "It's a part of training camp. They've just got to get back as soon as possible because it's wearin' and tearin' on other people."


Camp notes

-- Also out of practice with injuries suffered in Saturday's scrimmage were rookie TE Andrew Quarless (hamstring), CB Josh Bell (foot) and undrafted LB Alex Joseph (quadriceps). McCarthy announced after practice Monday that Bryan Bulaga, the team's first-round draft pick this year, will compete for the starting job at left guard. Bulaga had been working behind veteran left tackle Chad Clifton. "It's a testament to Bryan," McCarthy said. "He's talented, he's tough, he's doing things the right way."


-- Bulaga split first-team reps with incumbent left guard Daryn Colledge in Monday's practice.


-- McCarthy said S Atari Bigby is expected to miss about four weeks after undergoing surgery on his troublesome left ankle Friday in North Carolina. Bigby is a returning starter, but his absence since the start of camp has allowed rookie Morgan Burnett to take all the first-team reps.



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