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. Matthews was listed as out.
Matthews got hurt during a sack in Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He initially broke the thumb in Week 5 and missed four games.
Coach Mike McCarthy described it as a “repeat injury.”
The Packers return to practice Thursday, when the team is expected to announce if quarterback Aaron Rodgers is ready to return from a left collarbone injury.
Welker back at work
The Denver Broncos got their three “W’s” back at practice on Christmas Day — Wes Welker, Derek Wolfe and Kayvon Webster.
It’s unlikely that Welker and Wolfe will play against Oakland in the regular-season finale Sunday, but both were cleared to practice after prolonged absences and are working to regain their timing and conditioning.
Welker’s practice was his first since suffering a second concussion on Dec. 8. He was allowed to participate on a limited basis, according to the NFL’s concussion protocol.
“It was good to see him out there,” coach John Fox said.
The Broncos have struggled to convert third downs since losing Welker just before halftime against Tennessee three weeks ago.
“Yeah, we’d like to stay on the field more,” QB Peyton Manning said. “That’s definitely a point of emphasis that we can improve on.”
Wolfe hadn’t practiced since having a seizure-like episode on the team bus trip to the airport on Nov. 29 before the Broncos flew to Kansas City.
Wolfe has had a difficult year, beginning with a neck injury in the preseason and continuing with a food poisoning episode early in the season that caused him to lose a lot of weight.
Webster practiced for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right thumb Dec. 13 after breaking it in two places the first half against San Diego the night before.
• The Detroit Lions placed tight end Brandon Pettigrew on injured reserve, ending his season.
The five-year veteran injured an ankle late in a Dec. 16 loss to Baltimore and has not practiced or played since. He finished the season with 41 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions practiced Wednesday with only two tight ends, Joseph Fauria and practice squad player Matt Veldman.
• The Saints signed safety Terrence Frederick off Cleveland’s practice squad.
They also placed safety Kenny Vaccaro on injured reserve, officially ending his season. Vaccaro broke his left ankle Sunday in New Orleans’s 17-13 loss to the Panthers at Carolina.