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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Packers’ Matthews and Starks won’t play Sunday…

Four Green Bay Packers have already been declared as "out" for Sunday's home game against Cleveland.

Unless they add somebody soon, the Packers might not have their maximum of 46 players available for the game.

Eight players on Green Bay's current 53-man roster are dealing with significant injuries.

It's the second time in four years coach Mike McCarthy has gone through this. He said the 3-2 Packers need to "keep calm and carry on."

Clay Matthews and James Starks remain out with ongoing injuries.

Nick Perry broke a foot last Sunday at Baltimore. Backup tight end Ryan Taylor had knee surgery Wednesday.

McCarthy said Taylor didn't even know he got hurt while the Baltimore game was going on. He was working out as recently as Tuesday.

Taylor turned out to have a stinging nerve.

Linebacker Mike Neal was a last-minute addition to the injury list Wednesday with a bruised shoulder. The earliest he'll return to practice is Friday.

In addition, McCarthy is not sure yet whether receiver James Jones and linebacker Brad Jones can play against the Browns with their injuries from the past two weeks.

Corner Casey Hayward is also a question mark, as he continues to deal with a hamstring problem that's kept him out of action since the pre-season.

Packers re-sign rookie receiver

The Packers have re-signed undrafted rookie receiver Tyrone Walker to their practice squad.

He showed promise at training camp, and was the Packers' leading receiver in the pre-season. He was cut just before the regular season began. After that, Walker was on Seattle's practice squad for a week.

Walker played his college ball at Illinois State, where he became the school's all-time leader with 250 catches, 3,565 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Cleveland put former Packers receiver Charles Johnson on its reserve/non-football injury list, after finding that he had a torn ACL in one of his knees.

Green Bay drafted Johnson in the seventh-round in April. He was on the practice squad when the Browns claimed him last weekend for their 53-man roster.

Wednesday, the Browns said they discovered his torn ACL. They did not say how it might have happened.

Girls state tennis tournament begins

The state girls high school individual tennis tournament began Thursday, Oct. 17, in Madison.

First-round matches in two divisions began at 10:30 a.m. at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the University of Wisconsin campus. Champions will be crowned on Saturday.

Elizabeth Konon of Mequon Homestead is the top seed in the Division 1 singles bracket as she goes for her third-consecutive state title.

The senior has not lost a match since her freshman year. She is 137-1 for her high school career.

Shelby and Tilly Chorney of Waunakee earned the top seed for Division 1 doubles, after going 14-1 this season.

In Division 2, Grace Larrain of Wausau Newman has the top singles seed. She is 24-3 this year.

Maddy Brown and Hayley Clope of Racine Saint Catherine's are the top doubles seed in Division 2. They're undefeated in 29 matches.

Marquette joins the new Big East Conference

Marquette athletic director Larry Williams says he's confident his school can get to an elite level from its place in the new Big East Conference. The league held its first men's basketball Media Day in New York Wednesday.

Williams said his biggest concern is whether the new Big East is strong enough for Marquette to have a high-enough RPI ranking for a top seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

He said Marquette has a stronger non-conference schedule, and it should see his team through. The Golden Eagles joined six other basketball-first schools in pulling out from a conference with the likes of Syracuse and U-Conn.

Yesterday, Marquette was named the coaches' pre-season favorite to win the new Big East.

Williams said the school now feels a sense of stability, after all the uncertainty a year ago when rumors were flying about conference realignment.

UW-Green Bay pre-season Horizon League favorite

UW-Green Bay is the pre-season favorite to win the Horizon League men's basketball title, while UW-Milwaukee is projected to finish ninth and last.

Green Bay edged out second-place Wright State by just one vote in the pre-season balloting by the league's coaches, media and sports information directors.

It was the first time in 18 years that the Phoenix were the pre-season favorite. They're led by senior center Alec Brown and junior guard Keifer Sykes, both of whom were named to the All-Horizon League pre-season first team.

It's the first time that's happened since Green Bay joined the conference two decades ago.

The Phoenix has one of the stingiest defenses in the nation. Last season, they gave up offensive rebounds on just 27 percent of the opponents' chances.

Milwaukee senior guard Jordan Aaron made the All-League pre-season second team. Kendrick Perry of Youngstown State was named the Player of the Year.