Packers lose Matthews for a month with fractured thumb
Matthews fractured his thumb against the Lions on Sunday, but the initial hope was that he would be able to play through the injury - we've all seen defenders wrap heavy casts on their hands and play through the pain. Matthews is one of the tougher players in the league, so I'm sure that if he were able to play through the injury, he would have been all for it, but as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday evening, Matthews "is expected to miss one month." He will undergo further testing to confirm that he will not need to be held out longer, but the one-month timetable is fully expected to hold true.
The Packers' defense is now in a tough spot, as Matthews is their only player capable of consistently putting pressure on the quarterback on his own. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers will now have to devise schemes to free up less talented pass rushers and give them easy opportunities to disrupt the pocket. Matthews leads the team with 3.0 sacks, and aside from Nick Perry (2.0 sacks), no one else has more than one. Matthews also leads the team with two forced fumbles.
The Packers will have a tough matchup with the Ravens this week, but then face off with the Browns and Vikings - neither of which is particularly imposing on offense. The Packers will then have a big game against the Bears on November 4, and it looks like Matthews will have a shot at returning by then. If not, he should be a go for the following week's contest with the Eagles.