Am I crazy to think that the Green Bay Packers should consider moving Clay Matthews to inside linebacker if Jamari Lattimore is out for a significant amount of time?
It probably won’t happen, but here’s why I think the Packers should at least think about it:
- It would get Brad Jones off the field. The Packers had nobody else to plug in once Lattimore went down Sunday, so they were stuck using Jones at inside linebacker. Once again, it was obvious that Jones does not belong on the field. Moving Matthews inside would keep Jones out of the starting lineup and on the sidelines.
- In their limited roles, Nick Perry and Mike Neal have been solid. Perry is strong at the point and sets a good edge against the run. Neal disappears for stretches, but also has stretches where he gets after the quarterback. Between the two of them, I think they could hold down the outside linebacker spot opposite Julius Peppers if Matthews moved inside.
- Matthews is struggling outside. It’s been a quiet season for Matthews, especially after he injured his groin against Detroit. He’s not getting after the quarterback, he’s not setting the edge against the run or read-option and ballcarriers have no problem cutting it back inside on Matthews when they encounter him in space.
- When I watch Matthews play, it seems like he’d fit well inside. His over-aggressiveness hurts him at times on the outside. In tight spaces inside, that aggressiveness combined with Matthewss’ athleticism I think would help him sort through trash and make plays, something we haven’t seen from a Packers inside linebacker since Desmond Bishop.
Cons to moving Matthews inside include his lack of discipline being a liability and the usual concerns about having a player switch positions midseason. Asking a player with groin/hamstring issues to run around and cover tight ends and running backs might also be a bad idea. The Packers also don’t want to overreact to a rough stretch of games for Matthews. There’s a good chance he’s just in a slump outside and will snap out of it soon.
I highly doubt we’ll see Matthews take any more snaps than he usually does at inside linebacker, but it’s an intriguing option. The Packers should do whatever they can to keep Jones off the field.——————
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 .