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October

Packers News: Matthews says he will “definitely” play vs. Lions

Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews says he will play Sunday. That's a big deal.

Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews says he will play Sunday. That’s a big deal.

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews tweaked his hamstring in Green Bay’s Week 3 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but the four-time Pro Bowler told reporters Thursday that he will “definitely” play Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

After being a full participant at Thursday’s practice, head coach Mike McCarthy was encouraged about Matthews’ prospects for Sunday.

“He took a step today,” McCarthy said, per JSOnline.com. “I’m optimistic.”

The hamstring injury has been a recurring issue for Matthews. After playing all 16 games as a rookie in 2009, Matthews missed one games in each of the following three seasons, and he missed four last year due to the hamstring injury.

According to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Matthews left little doubt as to whether or not he’d be able to play against the Lions.

Obviously, the news that Matthews will likely be in the lineup is big news for the Packers. Of all the elite defensive players in the NFL, Matthews may very well mean more to the Packers than any individual player means to his team’s defense. Matthews may not be the best defensive player in the NFL, but he is the Packers’ pass rush. And even more than that.

Jason Wilde, of ESPN Wisconsin, also suggested via Twitter that Matthews would play Sunday.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has only been sacked three times through four games, which is the least of any quarterback in the league. The presence of recently-acquired running back Reggie Bush has something to do with the low sack count, considering Stafford has been able to get the ball out early and find receivers on short pass patterns.

If the Packers were forced to take the field without Matthews, they likely would have struggled to get pressure on Stafford. Matthews’ bookend, Nick Perry, ranks No. 38 among 41 3-4 outside linebackers rushing the passer, according to Pro Football Focus–two spots behind former Packers linebacker Erik Walden.

So, according to the man himself, Clay Matthews will be available Sunday. And that’s–quite obviously–a big deal for the Packers.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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7 Responses to “Packers News: Matthews says he will “definitely” play vs. Lions”

  1. Razer says:

    I am looking for the whole defense to take a step up. Matthews and Burnett aside, I think that Nick Perry, Mike Neal and Jones need to make life difficult for both Stafford and Bush. Let’s face it, if we can contain Calvin Johnson near the line of scrimmage or blanket him, they don’t have a lot of other targets. We need the D-line and pass rushers to force the issue.

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  2. FITZCORE1252 says:

    Huge. If only Casey were available… But, having Morgan back and CM3 out there is… Huge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. […] This is some happy news, Matthews says he will “definitely” play vs. Lions. […]

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  4. Big T says:

    Perry who? Draft bust, maybe?

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  5. GBPDAN says:

    Great news, Please no re-injuries to Clay and Burnett

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  6. Russell says:

    I’m worried that CM3 is rushing back too soon. His hammy could suffer more damage if not 100%. I hope they keep him out until he’s fully recovered. We need him for our Super Bowl run!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Stroh says:

      After all the hamstring issues he’s had, I’m sure Matthews knows when he can go and when he can’t. From all that I’ve read, he could have played in the 2nd half against Wash, but they held him out for precautionary reasons. Apparently he didn’t actually have a hamstring strain, just felt it getting tight which might lead to a tear if he had pushed it.

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