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.
Clay Matthews says he’s definitely playing this week.
— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) October 3, 2013
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.