Bay Packers Clay Matthews gets ready on defense during the
game against the Detroit Lions at the Lambeau Field in Green
Bay Wis., Friday, October 07, 2013.
GREEN BAY —
While his teammates are getting ready for their Monday Night
Football showdown with Chicago, Clay Matthews will be at the
The Green Bay
Packers' standout linebacker hasn't played since breaking his
right thumb against Detroit on Oct. 6, but when he gets the pins
removed from the thumb on Monday - a fact he confirmed Wednesday -
he will be one step closer to returning to the field. He won't
play against the Bears, but if he can return Nov. 10 against
Philadelphia, he will have missed only four games.
The Packers take
a four-game winning streak into Monday night's game at Lambeau
Field, with three of those victories coming with their star
defensive player sidelined.
very impressed with our team. It's not just about me,"
Matthews said. "There's a bunch of other guys on this team
and they've been doing a fantastic job, specifically speaking on
defense, getting pressure on the quarterback. It's good to
without Matthews, the Packers are tied for 10th in the NFL with 23
sacks entering this week's games. Matthews, who has 45.5 career
regular-season sacks in four-plus seasons, had three sacks at the
time of his injury, which occurred as he was sacking Detroit Lions
quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Not only have the
Packers played without Matthews, but fellow starting outside
linebacker Nick Perry has missed the last two games with a foot
injury, and starting inside linebacker Brad Jones has been out
since suffering a hamstring injury the same day Matthews broke his
forward to the time when we get all of our troops together at the
same time," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "I
think what we're going through now is these guys are gaining
experience. We'll be able to use that experience over the second
half of the season."
As well as the
Packers defense has played without Matthews - in the three games
he's missed, the unit has registered 11 sacks and 61 total points
- Matthews said he's not going to be extra careful with the injury
and wait any longer than the doctors make him wait.
"I'm not a
patient guy, as you guys are well aware," Matthews said.
"I'll never learn to be patient. It's difficult because with
most rehab injuries you feel as if you're getting better and
working toward something, but with this it's obviously a different
case. I kind of have to wait for doctors' opinions and specific
procedures in order to take the field. That's what is the most
Matthews said he
had hoped to play through the injury wearing a club cast to
protect the hand. But because of the type of injury he sustained,
he had no choice but to have surgery.
a Bennett fracture, in which the first metacarpal bone at the base
of the thumb breaks away from the joint, leaving behind a fragment
that remains attached to one of the ligaments in the thumb joint.
If not surgically
repaired, the injury can lead to permanent problems, such as
reduced grip strength in the hand.
"I was all
for it (playing), but there was no way around it with (what) these
doctors were telling me the possible risks were as well as future
life after football as far as my hand and what could happen,"
Matthews said. "I definitely would like to push through it. I
feel like I could and I'd be able to. Pain is not an issue for me.
It's more so about being smart - and at times I'm not the
Matthews said he
didn't really feel much pain when it happened and wasn't even sure
how the injury occurred.
break a bone in your hand, especially with the adrenaline running,
you don't really feel it until afterward when the pain kicks
in," Matthews said.