Jermichael Finley cleared to play

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- On the day Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley returned to practice following his Week 3 concussion, he said the hit that knocked him out was not a dirty play.

In fact, Finley said he did not think his concussion was even caused by Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka.

"The hit got my neck," Finley said Wednesday. "I think the ground caused the concussion. I've been hit like that 1,000 times and got up fine."

Iloka wasn't penalized for the hit but was fined $15,000 for what the NFL said was "unnecessarily striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area."

That fine came as a surprise to Finley.

"I thought it was a great hit," he said. "I didn't think it was dirty at all. That's my opinion. If I was the safety, I'd do the same thing. It's a part of the game."

Finley likely would not have been able to play last week had the Packers had a game, but they were on their bye week. Finley said he passed all of his concussion tests Tuesday afternoon. He was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice and expects to play Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.

"It took several days," Finley said. "I took my bye week, rested up a little, came back in Monday and did several tests, went to the hospital and did a couple tests.

"It's a long haul. You have to do several things to get back, and you have to respect the league for doing it. It's much respect from me."

Less certain was the status of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who was not present during the portion of Wednesday's practice that was open to the media but was listed as a limited participant in practice, meaning he took part in at least some drills.

Matthews left the Bengals game because of a hamstring injury, a problem that has dogged him in the past. He missed four games last season because of the same injury.

However, indications were that this injury was not as serious.

"I think Clay is better," coach Mike McCarthy said after Wednesday's practice. "He's made a lot of progress since coming off the field in Cincinnati. I'm hopeful that he'll be able to do more tomorrow. That's the plan."