With the Lions driving the field at the end of the third quarter, the Packers needed someone to step up and make a play. Of course, outside linebacker Clay Matthews is the one who answered the call, something that he has been doing frequently since his arrival in Green Bay. On third-and-9 at the Packers 34-yard line, Matthews exploded off the edge and attacked quarterback Matthew Stafford with lightning speed. The sack resulted in a 12-yard loss that forced Detroit to punt.
Matthews was seen running to the locker room with doctors and trainers shortly after the play. Obviously, it was something the fans did not want to see, but the fact that it did not look serious kept the crowd at ease. However, it appears the injury could be worse than anyone expected.
“Claymaker” suffered a fractured thumb. The Packers are not sure if he will need surgery to repair it, but if he does then he will miss a few games.
At this point, the best case scenario is Matthews plays with a protective cast over the damaged thumb, which is what several defenders do throughout the season. The worst case scenario is Green Bay will have to play without their best defensive player during a stretch of potentially challenging games. In fact, if he is out at least four weeks then he will miss a huge matchup against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4.
As of right now, Mike Neal would be the starting outside linebacker if Matthews is unable to suit up. The Packers are expected to announce Matthews’ fate sometime on Monday.