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Packers LB Clay Matthews Doesn't Expect to Be Limited by Thumb

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Packers LB Clay Matthews Doesn't Expect to Be Limited by Thumb

For the time being Clay Matthews is preparing as if he'll be playing Saturday in the Green Bay Packers' preseason opener at the Tennessee Titans.

The Packers are not known to take chances with players, especially those with injury concerns during the preseason. But Matthews doesn't feel as if he's being limited by his surgically repaired thumb.

"I've been very critical of myself, watching film, as far as really looking at if the hand's an issue," said Matthews. "But I can say it's definitely coming along tremendously. Obviously, I'm getting more comfortable each and every day.

"As I continue to say, it's still not 100 percent, but it's getting close. It's getting stronger each and every day, and I feel good about the progress I'm making, probably a little slower than in years prior obviously with overcoming injury. But with that being said we're moving in a great direction, along with the defense, so I don't see there to be any limitations with not only the preseason games but the upcoming season."

Matthews broke his thumb twice during the 2013 season—the medical term being a Bennett's fracture at the base of his thumb—missing five full games.

The Packers outside linebacker was withheld from practice during the team's offseason program in May and June as a precautionary measure, but he's been taking part in every session since training camp opened in late July.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has yet to decide on playing time for his starters in Saturday's game, but it's possible Matthews could be on the field for at least a handful of plays, which would represent yet another hurdle in a long line of hurdles to overcome on his way from coming back from injury.

"I haven't gotten that far yet," said McCarthy. "I really wanted to get through (Wednesday). We'll talk as a staff (Thursday) after we get done with the work with the players, and then we'll give the play time to the players Saturday morning before they practice. We'll see how everybody checks out medically first."

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (5) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Imma Fubared's picture

For me his play went into the above average class when we brilliantly decided to not pay Cullen Jenkins his due. It was that pressure from the other side that chased QB's into Mathews arms.
Take that away and he is a pass rusher and not a great pass rusher.
I actually wish his role would have been in the middle. He would have been a monster. The reason he is playing the position he is, TT doesn't want to fork over the big bucks for a low round DE who command a ton of bucks.
I read that analyst say they gave the farm away on Mathews. There are at least 5 backers who are better and are paid a whole lot less then him.

BradHTX's picture

You might be right right about the decline in "violence" to his game, Cow. I do agree with Imma F above that the lack of a consistently strong additional pass rush presence besides Matthews has contributed to his being only solid rather than game changing the past few seasons.

Where Imma F goes way off the rails is the editorializing on the Jenkins release. Haven't we all hashed through this one enough by now? Jenkins was coming off an injured season, and apart from 2010 and 2006 when he had 6-7 sacks, every other year of his career he consistently had only 4-5 and around 30 tackles. Solid, but not a player you break the bank for at the age of 30. He went to the Eagles for two years and spent last year with the Giants, what has he done? Again, 4-5 sacks.

With the drafting of Perry and D. Jones in the first round, and the emergence of Daniels (is there a defensive player with an attitude we all love more?), you can hardly say a valid attempt hasn't been made to give Matthews additional help. With the shift of Raji back to NT, hopefully Perry rushing more from the right, a year of seasoning for Jones, and please dear God some luck on the injury front, this is a defense with a pass rush that should finally strike some fear in opposing QBs. I for one am looking forward seeing Cutler eat dirt multiple times per game!

4thand1's picture

Dirt or whatever else is buried in that dump of a turf.

The TKstinator's picture

Also throw some Peppers into that mix.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

If Matthews is not 100%, why even consider playing him in the first preseason game? We have a lot of OLBs to look at.

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