GREEN BAY — As Kenny Clark was loaded onto the back of a medical cart with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury, Green Bay Packers teammate Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was busy giving Baltimore Ravens center Ryan Jensen a piece of his mind.
And after the Packers’ 23-0 loss on Sunday at Lambeau Field, Clinton-Dix was still angry about what he felt was a dirty play by Jensen. Clinton-Dix said Jensen hit Clark repeatedly while Clark was down on his knees, bending him back and causing the ankle injury.
“No. 66, I don’t even know his name, but he’s trash,” Clinton-Dix said of Jensen. “He’s a bad player. He doesn’t play fair. This is a game that we all love to play and love to enjoy, and you never want to see a guy get hurt when you’re playing overaggressive and doing things that you shouldn’t be doing. It’s uncalled for.
“I don’t like him. He needs to tighten up on his play. Play ball. If you can’t whup him regularly, don’t cheap-shot him. That’s what that guy’s been doing all year. I’ve been watching film of (No.) 66, and he’s a dirty player. I would love to have him on my team if he was like that, but at the end of the day, you can’t play like that and want to be a great in this league. It’s uncalled for.”
Clark, the Packers’ first-round pick a year ago, was enjoying a breakout season. The play occurred with 10 minutes left in the game and the Ravens leading 13-0.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he had no update on Clark or any of the other players who were injured in the game, and Clark was not in the locker room during post-game media access. But veteran cornerback Davon House said Jensen’s hit was “a play that a lot of us Packer players didn’t really like too much.”
More from the infirmary
The Packers’ defense also lost veteran pass rusher Clay Matthews to a groin injury during the first half, not long after Matthews registered a sack. The sack, which gave Matthews 3.5 on the season, ended a five-game drought — the second-longest of his career.
The Packers were already playing without defensive starters cornerback Kevin King (shoulder) and safety Morgan Burnett (groin).
Meanwhile, jack-of-all-trades offensive lineman Justin McCray, who started at right tackle after the Packers lost Bryan Bulaga to a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago, suffered a knee injury and could not finish the game. He was replaced by Jason Spriggs, who was activated from injured reserve on Saturday after missing the previous eight games with a hamstring injury.
McCray said after the game he avoided a serious injury but said his knee would be something he’d have to “work through” in order to be ready for next Sunday night’s game at Pittsburgh.
Rookie halfback Devante Mays didn’t play a snap from scrimmage before Sunday. His first two snaps couldn’t have gone much worse, as he fumbled on each of his first two NFL regular-season carries – he lost the first; Spriggs recovered the second. McCarthy admitted after the game that he went away from Mays as a result.
“I also had a number (of carries) in mind for him and after the fumble I lost confidence in him,” McCarthy said. “I have to get (over) that, I can’t do that in the game.”
McCarthy gave Mays a third carry right after the second fumble, and Mays gained 1 yard, finishing with three carries for minus-1 yard. After the game, Mays declined to answer questions from reporters, although starter Aaron Jones, a fellow rookie who missed the game with a knee injury, was there consoling him.
“I told him, ‘Just keep your head up. I know it’s not the day you wanted to have,’” Jones said. “It was pretty much his welcome-to-the-league game. Everybody has that moment. I missed a pass protection (against Detroit on Nov. 6 and was benched). That was my moment. So I told him, ‘Everybody has that moment, just keep your head up.’”
Jones said his rehab is “going well” and that his knee, which he injured at Chicago on Nov. 12, is “feeling good.” While the initial diagnosis had him missing 3-6 weeks, Jones said, “I’m hoping sooner than later.’ Jamaal Williams, who started in Jones’ place, ran 18 times for 57 yards. … The Packers’ five turnovers weren’t their only problem offensively. They also were stuck with challenging field position for much of the day, starting five possessions inside their own 15-yard line. … The Packers opened as a 14-point underdog against the 8-2 Steelers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Packers haven’t been that big of an underdog in a game since Dec.19, 2010, when they played at New England with Matt Flynn subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers (concussion) at quarterback.