GREEN BAY, Wis. — The banged-up Green Bay Packers have lost another key player to injury with outside linebacker Nick Perry scheduled to have hand surgery.
Coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn’t know how much time Perry will miss. He was off to a good start as the bookend to fellow edge rusher Clay Matthews with 1 1/2 sacks.
The Packers’ first-round draft pick in 2012, Perry had a breakout 2016 last season with 11 sacks in 14 games.
The loss of Perry places added importance on the return of Ahmad Brooks, who was a full participant in practice on Wednesday after missing the Week 2 loss at Atlanta because of a concussion.
Brooks was signed by the Packers after the 49ers cut the veteran pass rusher before the regular season. Brooks had 51 1/2 sacks in eight seasons with the 49ers.
"I think he’s a great fit for what we’re doing," McCarthy said before practice on Thursday. "So his role will definitely be bigger this week."
Brooks said on Wednesday that he was 100 per cent and had full clearance to do everything in practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the winless Cincinnati Bengals.
"It’s not frustrating. It’s just unfortunate," Brooks said about being hurt so soon after joining Green Bay. "I really wanted to come here and show what I was all about from the jump and that’s the very first game of the season."
Now Brooks, second-year player Kyler Fackrell and rookie Chris Odom, who just joined the Packers a couple of weeks ago, will be counted on to help fill in for Perry.
McCarthy called Perry a "violent football player."
"He’s physical, he plays the game the right way. If you look at his play style, I mean that’s really part of his game, the violence that he plays with, with his hands," the coach said.
McCarthy also said that the team has brought back defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, who was just cut by the Packers last week. The veteran will help add depth up front with standout lineman Mike Daniels dealing with a hip injury.
Perry and Daniels were two of 13 players on Green Bay’s lengthy injury report this week. Besides the return of Brooks, the Packers did get some good news on Wednesday with receiver Jordy Nelson (quad) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) returning to practice as full participants.