Is Not Practicing Catching up With Packers’ Clay Matthews? All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a blurb about Clay Matthews’ recent drop in production and a possible correlation with a shin injury that severely limits his practice time.

On Monday I wrote about how I am done criticizing Aaron Rodgers this season, and I probably could write basically the same piece about Matthews. When examining problem areas for the Gren Bay Packers, Matthews is nowhere near the top of the list.

But Matthews has only 10 tackles and one sack his last two games. That one sack was given to him after Brett Favre slid behind the line of scrimmage early in the Vikings game. Matthews has only practiced once a week since the beginning of November and maybe that is starting to catch up with him. Despite what Allen Iverson says, practice is important – especially in the NFL and especially for a young player like Matthews.

It would have been unrealistic to expect Matthews to continue the torrid pace he set early in the season. He is a great talent, but nobody is talented enough to notch over 35 sacks. After his fast start, teams are now ready for Matthews. They are game-planning for him. They are forcing him to make adjustments, which is tough without practice time.

Most coaches will tell you that half the battle in football is lining up correctly and getting to the right spot once the ball is snapped. It is difficult to experiment and make necessary adjustments without practicing them first. The less Matthews practices, the more difficult it is for him to work on new stunts or schemes to get favorable matchups on Sunday.

Obviously, I am not arguing that Matthews needs to suck it up and practice regardless of how injured he is. He needs to be as healthy as possible on Sunday and he is probably the best judge of whether he can practice or not. But Matthews’ production is something to monitor as the season winds down.


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


8 thoughts on “Is Not Practicing Catching up With Packers’ Clay Matthews?

  1. Practicing may have some impact. More importantly no one else is stepping up. I think they need to figure out a way to send Bishop a lot more. Points given up by the Defense is not the issue. ST’s and lack of scoring is the problem.

  2. Interesting (but probably unanswerable) question. His drop-off in production is probably due to a combination of his injury and lack of practice time. If we could see the coach’s game film, we could see what he is doing on every play and make a mor einformed judgment. (Isn’t this something Silverstein can access?) Anyway, if I had to guess as to the reason, I would say that he may be slowed a bit by his injury and that the Falcons had a better O-line than he had faced in most of the games this season. I would not think that not practicing matters all that much to CM3’s play.

    1. I’ll add that I thought the Falcons right tackle was really, really good. Had excellent balance, body position and strength. that’s a big reason Matthews was quite in that game.

  3. I have to think that he and McCarthy both feel he is still more productive by not practicing than by letting an injury get worse by practicing on it all week. Interesting question, though. There’s probably no real way to determine it for sure.

  4. MM said the turf has an effect on CM3 injury.I would venture a guess that practice is being bypassed depending on what the field of play will be.Slowing him down for the advantage gained in the last games at home and “possibly”a home game or two in Playoffs.

    The next two are wins even if CM3 plays 50%,the last 3 are the ones we need him in big time.Just a thought.

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