Bay Packers linebacker Jayrone Elliott, left, knocks the
ball out of the hand of St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin
Davis during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason football
game Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in St. Louis. Davis recovered
the ball but the Packers went on to win 21-7.
GREEN BAY —
Jayrone Elliott doesn't just go by "No. 91" anymore in
the Packers' locker room. Three sacks in four plays will help get
you noticed, even by pass-rushing specialist Clay Matthews.
series came in a rather meaningless fourth quarter of a 21-7
preseason win over St. Louis. But maybe, just maybe, the sequence
can earn the undrafted rookie more snaps in his long-shot effort
to work his way into the crowded outside linebacker rotation.
"It was just
crazy, because usually you walk around and they'd be like 'What up
91?'" Elliott said Monday. "Then they started calling me
by name, and calling me 'Sackmaster.'
just fun to joke around with Clay and (Julius Peppers), because
you know Peppers never really talks to anybody," Elliott
added with a smile.
day was overshadowed by the stellar preseason debut of quarterback
Aaron Rodgers, who had the up-tempo offense humming along in
midseason form. Elliott, who went to Toledo, is taking the ribbing
from his feel-good performance in stride.
Bay Packers wide receiver Jeff Janis, right, is
congratulated by Chris Harper after scoring on a 34-yard
touchdown pass during the third quarter of an NFL preseason
football game against the St. Louis Rams, Saturday, Aug. 16,
2014, in St. Louis.
he's starting this weekend in front of me," Matthews joked
after practice Monday.
Not even close.
And forget the other side, too, where Peppers is starting.
"We give him
a hard time with the amount of success that he had this past
week," Matthews said. "I'll be rooting for him."
Elliott's success draws attention to the Packers' depth at outside
linebacker. Start with Matthews, back after missing much of last
season with a thumb injury that also limited him in minicamp.
Each week gives
Matthews more confidence in using his surgically repaired hand.
"I feel good
about it. I think by the time season the rolls around, I'll be
flying out there and making plays and having fun," Matthews
said. "That's what I'm doing now, but just a little more
signed Peppers as a free agent to punch up the pass rush.
Converted ends Mike Neal and Nick Perry both appear to be healthy
again in camp. Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer got valuable
experience last year after injuries to Matthews and Perry, and the
Packers also drafted Carl Bradford in the fourth round out of
Bay Packers cornerback Davon House (31) breaks up a pass
intended for St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey in
the second quarter during an NFL preseason football game,
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in St. Louis.
There might be
some tough decisions coming when the roster gets cut.
the outside linebacker position, but a lot of positions we have to
continue to try to work a lot of different combinations,"
coach Mike McCarthy said. "At the end of the day, special
teams will be a huge factor in those decisions."
All of which
makes this weekend's game against Oakland, the Packers' third of
the preseason, all the more important for Elliott and other young
players such as receiver Jeff Janis. After missing the first week
of practices with shingles, Janis has had an impressive camp,
including a 34-yard touchdown last week against the Rams.
Janis might have
a better shot at making the roster than Elliott, who in turn
realizes he still has a lot of work to do. He's not letting all
those well-wishing text messages he received after the game make
"It was just
a bunch of people telling me, 'Congratulations, good to finally
see you there,'" Elliott recounted. "Just a bunch of
family members going crazy thinking I'm freaking Clay
NOTES: TE Brandon
Bostick suffered what McCarthy called a lower leg injury Saturday
that might keep the tight end out a few weeks. Bostick had a foot
injury last year in Week 15 that knocked him out for the year. ...
An interception off a deflection in practice by rookie safety Ha
Ha Clinton-Dix turned into an entertaining attempt to lateral the
ball around to gain extra yards, finally bouncing out of bounds
after about three throws.