Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Neal will miss what coach Mike McCarthy called “significant time” after undergoing knee surgery this week.   Neal originally hurt the knee in training camp. 

Now, Ryan Pickett and BJ Raji, who took most of the snaps in the teams nickel package last week, will likely be pressed into more service time in the future. 

AUDIO: Ryan Pickett on picking up the pieces with Mike Neal going down :24

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he expects Neal to return at some point this season and didn’t think he’d be headed for injured reserve.

AUDIO: Mike McCarthy on Neal undergoing knee surgery this week :14

The Packers have hardly had a chance to get used to Neal in their lineup.  The Packers are hoping he’ll be Cullen Jenkins replacement at defensive end, but since Neal was taken in the second round of 2010 draft, he’s missed 19 of the 21 games the Packers have played since then.

It’s another tough loss for the Packers, but with Neal, it’s a loss that the Packers are certainly used to.

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