On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Dec. 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Lacy, Clinton-Dix appearance Packers Eddie Lacy and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are scheduled to appear at the Big Red Kettle at Bay Park Square Mall on behalf of the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign.
  • Sat., Dec. 27, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera) Mike Flanagan and Marco Rivera are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, December 27th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera)

    TTZ: Mike Flanagan
    Club Level: Marco Rivera

  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers vs. Detroit Lions Packers vs. Detroit Lions
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM CDT Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean concert Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney have announced that their tours, The Burn It Down Tour and The Big Revival Tour presented by Corona Light, will collide for 10 stadium shows next summer, including Lambeau Field on Saturday, June 20, 2015.  More on-sale information and special guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.

News

Print
RSS

Clay Matthews says he’s ready to go

Posted Oct 3, 2013

Early exit in Cincinnati key to linebacker’s recovery

LB Clay Matthews

GREEN BAY—Clay Matthews is good to go.

“Yes, I plan to play,” Matthews said on Thursday, after being a full participant in the Packers’ padded practice. “I’ll be out there this Sunday. It’s feeling good.”

“It,” of course, is Matthews’ hamstring, which has been strained to one degree or another in each of his five seasons in the NFL. The latest recurrence came in the second quarter in Cincinnati two weeks ago, forcing Matthews to sit out the second half.

Unlike last year, however, when the injury was much worse and kept Matthews out of four games, it appears he won’t miss a full game this time. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he’s “optimistic” Matthews can play as he follows the plan the medical staff set up for him.

Matthews said that pulling himself off the field and talking to the doctors immediately when he didn’t feel right in Cincinnati was key, along with what he termed a “fortuitous” bye week.

“I’ve become a lot smarter,” Matthews said. “Obviously, a younger Clay might have pressed the issue and hurt himself even more.”

Unfortunately, his absence against the Bengals likely cost the Packers a victory. Matthews forced two of four straight turnovers in the first half that helped the Packers climb out of a 14-0 hole, but the takeaways dried up in the second half and Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton caught fire without Matthews’ steady pressure.

With Matthews out, Dalton completed 13 of 15 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns – a 152.9 passer rating – in the second half as the Bengals rallied from a 30-14 deficit.

On Sunday at Lambeau Field, the Packers will face a Lions offense that similarly can get rolling, particularly with the addition of Reggie Bush to both the ground and air attacks.

Matthews hasn’t lined up against Bush since the star running back was winning a Heisman Trophy and Matthews was playing on the scout team at USC, but seeing Bush hurdle tacklers and make several big plays – he has a 77-yard TD reception and a 37-yard TD run in Detroit’s first four games – reminds Matthews of the player he said gave him “several welcome-to-college moments.”

“He’s definitely playing very well,” Matthews said of Bush, who is averaging 7.3 yards per touch this season. “He looks like he has new life playing out there and that offense definitely features him by putting the ball in his hands.”

The Packers’ defense, obviously, features Matthews at every opportunity, though he plans to rest some snaps on Sunday with a long, 13-game post-bye stretch just beginning.

That said, however, Matthews only plays at one speed, and mentally he doesn’t concern himself with reinjuring the hamstring because he knows he wouldn’t be the same player if he did.

Last year, after missing those four games, he came back and recorded seven sacks over the final three regular-season and two playoff games.

So when he says he’s good to go, history says to believe him.

“I feel good. I’ll make my plays,” he said, though it may be tough with Detroit QB Matthew Stafford having been sacked only three times this season.

“I wouldn’t be returning if I had concern. Hopefully, it’s a thing of the past. Hopefully, it’s my one for the year.”

Additional coverage - Oct. 3

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Final Thoughts: Packers at Buccaneers

    (3:08) Posted 13 hours ago

    Packers.com's Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford preview the Green Bay Packers' Sunday matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.

  • Trailer: Packers at Buccaneers

    (2:27) Posted Dec 19, 2014

    The Green Bay Packers head to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers in Week 16, following a loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.

  • Playbook: Green Bay Packers vs. Buccaneers

    (2:23) Posted Dec 19, 2014

    The "Playbook" crew talks about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his struggles in Tampa Bay.