Matthews has practiced this week with his right wrist in a cast that keeps his fingers exposed, a dramatic change from a week ago. He said on Thursday that if things continue to go well in practice, he should get the OK to use the new device in the Packers’ game Sunday against the Giants.
“Yes, that will leave my fingers free, which means more sacks and more tackles,” the smiling Matthews said.
Matthews’ limitations in last week’s game were no joke, however. He couldn’t grab anything with his right hand, which was wrapped up to protect his surgically repaired broken thumb, and he couldn’t push or create any leverage with it.
He was credited with only a couple of tackles against the Eagles, and no sacks, hits or hurries on the quarterback. Statistically, it wasn’t a typical Matthews game, because he wasn’t the typical Matthews.
He admitted “it didn’t look pretty at times,” and that “it was hard watching” himself look like that on film. He came up with an interesting analogy to explain the whole experience of playing with a club for the first time in his football life.
“It’s kind of like a cat, when you cut its whiskers off, it just loses its balance,” he said. “I’ve never done that before, but I’ve heard that’s what happens. That’s how I felt. You have to overcome that.
“So I’m hoping with my fingers back, I’ll be like a feline who got his whiskers back, and I’ll be able to be more spry out there.”
It doesn’t help that Matthews’ mates at outside linebacker aren’t the picture of health, either.
The only outside linebacker not on the team’s injury report is rookie sixth-round draft pick
McCarthy said Matthews looks a lot better on the practice field than he did a week ago, so it’s obvious that losing the club is making a difference.
Matthews cautioned that he still won’t be 100 percent, however, not with his wrist immobilized, and not when he’s less than two weeks from having the surgical pins removed from this thumb.
But he should no longer be a one-armed defender at a playmaking position, either, and that’s good news for a defense in need of a turn of fortune right quick.
“Will I be ahead of where I was last week? Absolutely,” Matthews said. “I think that’s the most important thing, that we’re progressing moving forward, and that is what’s happening.”Additional coverage - Nov. 14