Packers hope to turn season around against Washington

FILE- In this Dec. 13, 2015, file photo, Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews warms up before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay, Wis. Matthews has no tackles in his last two games, an unusual lack of production for such an impact player for the Packers. While tackles alone aren’t an accurate gauge of a player’s effectiveness, he would like to end this dubious streak.  (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)
FILE- In this Dec. 13, 2015, file photo, Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews warms up before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay, Wis. Matthews has no tackles in his last two games, an unusual lack of production for such an impact player for the Packers. While tackles alone aren’t an accurate gauge of a player’s effectiveness, he would like to end this dubious streak. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBAY) – The Green Bay Packers (4-5) will look to turn their season around Sunday night against the Washington Redskins (5-3-1).

In order to do that, the Packers’ defense must stop hemorrhaging yards. It has allowed nearly 1,200 yards during this three-game losing streak.

The expected return of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews should help with pressuring Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. If they don’t disrupt him, he will do a lot of damage with tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, who have 70 catches and five touchdowns between them. Reed has the second most catches by a tight end the last two seasons behind only the Titans’ Delanie Walker, and you saw what he did to the Packers’ defense last week.

“Those guys alone are two of the top tight ends in the league,” said Packers safety Morgan Burnett. “Those guys, you see them making plays on the offense, and they are very key towards the offense. It is going to be a challenge for us, but you look forward to that. That’s why you sign up to play in the NFL because you want to go against the best, and those two are two of the best in the league.”

“They are going to make some plays,” said Packers safety Micah Hyde. “That’s evident because of the smart quarterback they have, they are going to get in some calls that will beat our coverage and stuff like that. But we just have to catch, tackle, and not give up explosive plays.”

Packers tight ends have not made explosive plays this year. They’ve accounted for only 8 percent of Green Bay’s offense. But offseason acquisition Jared Cook looks to return this week. He was a full participant in practice all week and is an optimistic questionable to play for the first time in eight weeks.

The Packers hope Cook can make a huge impact.

“He is a big body, very athletic and has the ability to get down the seam,” said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “He adds a little bit more speed when he’s in there. But we have to get that chemistry back to where it was before the injury.”

“It’s exciting man,” Cook said. “It has been hard sitting out and watching. It is definitely positive being out there and being around the guys and building some camaraderie, so I’m excited.”

Disclaimer: Washington has been pretty good against tight ends this year, only giving up three touchdowns to opposing tight ends all year and 55 yards per game to the position.

Whatever happens, tune in for Cover 2 live on location following the game for complete post-game coverage in Washington.