GREEN BAY—The process is rather complex for
The result, however, is simple: Matthews feels like he’s playing with one arm.
“It does (stink),” Matthews said. “But I’ll do the best I can with it and we’ll see what that means come Sunday.
“I just have to get used to playing a little more with one hand and be comfortable throwing it in there. I’m taking baby steps.”
Matthews does expect to return to action on Sunday against the Eagles, but how much he’ll play after missing the past four games with a broken thumb is undetermined. How effective he can be is another question as well. He said he has played with a cast before but never a club.
In recent years, the Packers have had other defenders play with clubs, including defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins and safety
It’s somewhat uncharted territory for Matthews whether as a stand-up pass rusher he can disengage from a blocker using essentially one arm, or whether against the run he can use a clubbed-up right hand to help fit into the proper gap. He said he’s taking it “day by day” as far as learning how to use the club and getting accustomed to it.
The Packers also hope to get fellow outside linebacker
The potential return of the starting duo comes none too soon. Since Matthews got hurt against Detroit in Week 5, the defense has just one sack from an outside linebacker, and that was a strip-sack by Perry in the first half at Baltimore in Week 6. That’s when he hurt his foot and he’s been out since. The defense has also produced just one turnover while Matthews and Perry have both been out.
“No doubt about it, and it’s vice-versa,” cornerback
Philadelphia QB Nick Foles is becoming a difference-maker, running new coach Chip Kelly’s fast-break, up-tempo offense that can limit defensive substitutions and packages. Called “red hot” by McCarthy, Foles is coming off a seven-TD performance at Oakland last week and has the league’s leading rusher in LeSean McCoy (777 yards) next to him in the backfield.
“We’ve been working hard as far as getting the calls out there quick. We’re going to treat it like a two-minute offense.”
The defense’s leader, Matthews is calling for a matching level of urgency from the entire unit, and from the entire team, as the Packers navigate a stretch of games minus
Limited as he is by the club, Matthews will only be able to do so much.
“Just where we’re at in the season, with our quarterback going down, it’s time for other positions to elevate their game and really carry this team until he comes back,” he said. “Until then, I’ll try to do the best I can to help this team out with one arm.”Additional coverage - Nov. 7