McCarthy: Neal to miss 'significant' time after knee surgery

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that defensive end Mike Neal will miss a "significant" amount of time after having surgery on his knee this week.

There's still hope for Neal to return this season, as McCarthy doesn't believe the lineman will need to go on injured reserve.

Neal, the Packers' second-round draft pick in 2010, hurt his left knee during a non-contact drill in training camp. Coming off a season-ending shoulder injury last year, Neal was widely expected to play an increased role in the defense after Cullen Jenkins left as a free agent.

If there's a team in the NFL equipped to weather an injury, however, it's the Packers. They won Super Bowl XLV despite having 16 players on injured reserve, and Ryan Pickett told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this latest injury is nothing new.

"We're just used to it," Pickett said. "We're used to that adversity. We have to have guys picking up the slack. They'll have to pick up the slack until he comes back."

Jarius Wynn, a 2009 sixth-round pick who was waived and later re-signed last season, took Neal's place in Thursday night's season opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Cornerback Tramon Williams, who has a bruised right shoulder, didn't practice Wednesday. It isn't clear if he'll play Sunday at Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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