Matthews To Miss At Least A Month

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Clay Matthews
Questions remain about when Matthews will return and how effective he can be when he does

According to Fox Sports Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is expected to miss at least a month after breaking his thumb in Sunday’s win against the Detroit Lions.  The injury occurred towards the end of the third quarter following a sack of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Matthews was seen heading to the Packers locker room and he did not return.  On Monday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that Matthews will miss time and even went so far as to say that he is hopeful that Matthews will not be lost for the season.

Losing Matthews for any period of time is big for the Packers defense, but if the news ends up worse than originally thought and they are forced to play out the season without him, it would change the face of the entire unit.  Matthews is the team’s undisputed best defensive player and as such, he was rewarded with a handsome contract extension during the offseason.

Many players have been able to return from and play with a broken hand or broken fingers.  In 2010, former Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins played with a club cast after breaking his hand.  In 2011, safety Morgan Burnett played with the same-type club cast on his hand.  A safety would presumably need as much use of his hands as possible and to see Burnett out there with it would lead one to think that the Packers are hopeful that Matthews can return sooner than later.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers seemed to think that there was at least a chance that Matthews would get back and still be effective if he were to have to play with a cast on his hand.

In Matthews’ absence, the team will rely on Nick Perry and Mike Neal to provide a steady pass rush.  It’s nearly impossible to replace a player of Matthews’ caliber, but if yesterday was any indication, the Packers may be in better shape than previously thought.  Perry had two sacks with Neal registering one of his own.  Still, don’t expect the production of Neal and Perry to come near equaling that of Matthews.

Stay tuned for further updates as more is learned about Matthews and the course of action that the team will take.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • http://jersyal.com tim

    It looks like the test for nick Perry, mike neal and dom capers. Always an adventure – Kind of excited to see how they fare.

    • Dobber

      I think a test for Capers more than anything else. He still has some pieces to play with. He just has to figure out how to use them.

  • Archie

    We already saw what it looks like w/o CM3 vs CINCY. With no pressure, Dalton picked apart secondary for two quick
    TDs.

    Our weak suit on defense is no pass pressure. CM3 is our pass rush. W/o him on the field opponents will feast on our secondary. Losing Jones will hurt nickel/dime as well. Pack could be looking at 0-4 unless Neal/Perry surprise big time.

    • Dobber

      Next 5 games…
      @Baltimore
      v. Cleveland
      @Minneswampy
      v. Chicago
      v. Philly

      • Dobber

        Wow…it’s a good thing I don’t measure my self-worth on thumbs up/down. I get two “downs” for just posting the upcoming schedule? Tough crowd!

        • http://allgbp.com/category/authors/jason-perone/ Jason Perone

          Well, one of them is probably Scott, who is banned. The other, who knows. At least they’re reading.

      • Brett Johnson

        Four wins and one loss in these games…With a 58% probability…of four wins or better…Toughest games: the next two…Minnesota is worse than last year, Chicago has 2 D-Linemen on IR, including a Pro-Bowler in Melton, and Philadelphia has a weak defense and are now without Mike Vick.

    • BubbaOne

      …and we saw yesterday w/o CM3: 3 sacks and a meaningless Detroit TD in garbage time. We can find facts to fit our viewpoint.
      W/ the next man up approach maybe Perry continues to shine and Neal keeps playing well (he’s graded positive in all 4 games).
      Also, I wonder if Lattimore or Barrington’s speed has them playing and doing well in nickel/dime.

      • Brett Johnson

        BubbaOne, intelligent, and objective comments-thanks!

    • http://allpackers.com nick perry

      That was also without Burnett too. Rodgers had one of those games that he very rarely has. Also, the play calling in that game was terrible, all problems I’m quite sure had nothing to do with the defense. I think if they play like they can, get Hayward back at least by Minnesota the game, they could go 4-1 or even 5-0. Baltimore will be tough. It’s a hard place to play and they have a excellent offensive line. I don’t know about you but I’m not that concerned with Flacco and his receivers. I’m more concerned with Suggs and Dummervil.

      • Brett Johnson

        Nick, we’re thinking along the same lines. Baltimore and the resurgent Browns, with a tough defense, look to be the most challenging opponents at this point. Chicago may be a surprise, excellent secondary, but, losing Melton on the D-Line should make them easier to deal with up front. Baltimore is still a dangerous team especially at home…However, they seem to have slipped a bit and so far are inconsistent. Tight game? May be decided by turnovers and special teams. The Rain is supposed to stop in the Atlantic states by Saturday night, at least that is the latest I’ve seen. Am hoping we can pull this one out.

  • GBPDAN

    Wah…we just got Burnett back and now this happens. How long is Jones out? Heres to Clay (and Brad) playing soon.

  • Dobber

    In the words of Rob Demovsky:
    “When Matthews went down last season, Perry already had been lost for the season to a wrist injury and the idea of moving Neal from defensive end to outside linebacker had not been hatched. The week after Matthews’ injury, the Packers’ starting outside linebackers were Dezman Moses and Erik Walden — neither of whom are with the Packers anymore.”

    He’s got a point. No CMIII is a major blow, but I don’t see it as being as bad as it was a year ago when he was hurt.

  • Aaronqb

    If CM3 is out for the season, it will eliminate the Packers from Super Bowl contention.

    If out for 4-6 weeks it probably costs the Packers a win or two. But, they could win the Super Bowl if they play well enough to make playoffs.

    I like the progress Neal and Perry are making. Greene will have to continue his great work with the OLBs.

  • GBPDAN

    ESPN reported that Clay had successful surgery today and should be out 4 weeks. If true, we have 2 division games in that stretch, Vikings/Bears.

    @Ravens this week will be a tuff game, I hope B Jones can play. But, if the O can get going and score points in the red zone, its a win.

    Browns at home = W

    Viks on road with Freeman only having 3 weeks practice with new team = W

    Bears at Home = W

    • Stroh

      If they can get past Balt this week, that’ll set the tone for the next month. They should be able to win the home games and one of the away games. Obviously better to win the Minn game on the road than the Balt game.

    • Brett Johnson

      GBPDAN…agreed my friend-toughest game appears to be Ravens…Let’s not overlook the Browns-they defeated the Bengals and may have a better defense than most give them credit for. Freeman?…He has regressed and seems to be a bit of a head case. We should not think any division game on the road will be a piece-of-cake, but, it appears, so far, that we have improved, and the Vikings have slipped a bit, on both sides of the ball…I like your thoughts.

  • GBPDAN

    If clay is out for 6 weeks instead of 4, add the Eagles at home = W, and Giants away = W.

    However, I hope that somehow Clay can be in a cast playing against the Bears. That would be 4 weeks.

  • Big T

    Just have the thumb removed and get him on the field. It’s not like he needs his thumb to hitch hike or anything….

  • xuyee

    Mike Neal and Perry are more 4-3 DEs than 3-4 OLBs. Dom’s 3-4 scheme exists mostly to leverage CM3s skills. Now that he’s out, I wonder if we’ll move more towards a 4-3.

    Of course we don’t really have too many healthy MLBs either. Maybe that’s why we promoted a CB (Nixon) in order to play more 4-2 nickel and dime.

    • Dobber

      With the next three opponents (Balt, Minn, Cle), I think we would normally see the Packers play much more base than we saw against the Lions, Redskins, and Niners. Without CMIII (and maybe Jones), maybe it makes sense to try to play nickel or 3 safeties.

      Getting Hayward back would help, too.

    • Stroh

      Capers scheme doesn’t exist to help Matthews skills. The 34 D has been around a lot longer than Clay Matthews. The 34 is around to get more LB’s (read athletes on the field) and get by w/o as many big guys who are harder to find. Certainly, Matthew benefits the most from the 34 scheme in GB than anyone else does. Lets remember that Matthews is an IDEAL fit for the 34 D. He was a late bloomer who played safety earlier in his days of HS and college, so he is very adept at playing in space. Most 34 OLB are guys that are a little to small to be full time 43 DE but have athletic ability. Matthews background as a safety helps him immensely as a 34 OLB. He just happened to grow into a full sized 34 OLB, at 6’3 255.

      • Outis

        “Grew” into a full-sizd 34 OLB? Yeah, right. Only with a little bit of help from his friends, HGH and PED.

        • Stroh

          Look at his Dad and uncle who were both outstanding players! His family tree tells you all you need to know for Gods Sake! His dad played LB at 245 and his uncle was a 305 HOF OG. Go away troll!

          • Outis

            As a HS junior, he was 6-1, 165 lbs. Matthews showed up at unknown weight at USC; by 2005 he was listed as 6-3 225. Not bad gains over 3 years from high school: 165 to 225 plus 2 inches in height. By 2008, USC listed Matthews at 246. That’s 81 pounds of weight (muscle) on Matthews since a junior in high school (over 6 years). For a linebacker to retain or increase speed while packing on 80 pounds, is either phenomenal or pharmacological. His friend at USC now with the Texans, Brian Cushing, was suspended for 4 games in 2010 for using a steroid “masking agent.” Steroid use among USC’s “student-athletes” was prevalent throughout Pete Carroll’s tenure (remember his players, the Ting brothers, and their father, Dr. Arthur Ting’s connections to Barry Bonds?). We all know what kind of ethics Pete Carroll has. The Seattle Seahawks lead the NFL in suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs since Carroll became coach in 2010. Bone, tendon and ligament injuries in NFL players have been linked to steroid use. Matthews has a history of hamstring injuries since he’s been in the NFL; now he has a bone injury. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

            • Stroh

              I’m aware of his growth from his HS days. Means little… He was a late bloomer. He had a growth later in HS and early in college, it happens all the time. Some guys are just later to grow into a full grown man. Took me till my Jr yr in college to get to my mature weight. That along w/ the amount of testosterone already in a young mans body largely make take roids unnecessary not to mention unhealthy.

              I could care less what Cushing or anyone at USC did… Your implying guilt by association nothing more! Its a poor argument at best!

              • Outis

                There are way too many coincidences and associations to dismiss Matthews’ physical development to his being “a late bloomer.” As a Packer fan, I would like to believe him when he states that he has not used “banned substances.” He may not have, but that does not mean that he didn’t use performance enhancing drugs that were not banned at the time. I also would like to believe in the purity of “sports for sports sake.” But this is reality, where money rules all sports and dictates that rules be bent to achieve any advantage. Also in reality, one can be convicted of a crime in a court of law solely on the basis of circumstantial evidence less than what has been made public about Matthews’ use of PEDs. Unfortunately, it may take a court case on steroid use at USC before Matthews admits that he has distorted the truth.

              • Dobber

                “Took me till my Jr yr in college to get to my mature weight.”

                Sadly I’m still waiting to find out what my mature weight will be. My only PED has “Hershey” written on it in big letters.

              • Dobber

                …if a PED was not a banned material at the time, what has he done wrong?

            • Dobber

              You’ve never seen someone slap on weight based on heavy workload and high calorie, low fat/sugar diets? Happens all the time.

              Soft tissue injuries can be related to many things besides chemical influences, low fat diet and low body fat being two of them. If every player with chronic hammy issues is on PEDs, then Goodell could have more suspensions than any of us can shake a stick at.

              I’m not saying that CMIII has been clean as a whistle, and you can believe what you want, but I’m not going to indict him based on the transgressions of a teammate and a coach.

            • Dobber

              “Bone, tendon and ligament injuries in NFL players have been linked to steroid use. Matthews has a history of hamstring injuries since he’s been in the NFL; now he has a bone injury.”

              Last time I broke a bone (by kicking a bedpost), I blamed my recent flu vaccination.

    • Brett Johnson

      …xuyee…agree with your second paragraph…also, your first one, agree that Neal and Perry are more like 4-3 DE’s…I just do not see Capers suddenly switching to a 4-3…we will see in short order. What you suggest makes sense…But, don’t count on it.

  • Alex Parkhurst

    In 2010 we had gobs of injuries to good players and other players stepped up and we finished 10-6 and won the SB.

    Talent wins but so does character. The coaches know CMIII is important and they will tell the players now is the time to step up: “This is why you are a Green Bay Packer”.

  • Big T

    Injuries SUCK

  • Germ Ike Al

    I’m most worried about this forcing Neal and/or Perry into coverage situations. How have they fared so far when required to cover a TE or slot receiver? Hopefully this will help them grow on that aspect.

  • Since ’61

    Unfortunately, injuries are part of the reality of the NFL. The Packers have had and continue to have more than their fair share. However, I think that the Packers are in better shape to deal with the Matthews injury than they have been in the past. Especially, if the offense can continue to control the ball as they did against Detroit. This will be difficult on the road especially in Baltimore. But if they can get past the Ravens the schedule becomes a little more favorable. The D needs to step up and Rodgers needs to continue to be Rodgers plus Lacy for some good runs. One game at a time. Thanks, Since ’61

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