Packers’ Clay Matthews leaves game with thumb injury
Matthews suffered a thumb injury on a sack by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, late in the third quarter of the Packers' 22-9 win over Detroit. The fifth-year pro Matthews was unblocked and easily dumped Stafford for a 12-yard loss.
After initially walking around the sidelines, Matthews retired to the locker room with a team trainer. He was listed as questionable for the rest of the half, but didn’t return in the game.
Prior to leaving the game, Matthews registered five tackles and a sack, helping the Packers to a 19-3 lead against the Lions on Sunday.
Matthews’ injury could be serious since ProFootball talk reported after the game that the Packers star linebacker may have a fractured thumb. At this point it remains unclear whether the thumb injury will affect him in practice or limit his ability to play. But if Matthews ends up missing time, it could be big problem for a struggling Packers’ defense. According to the Football Outsiders, the Packers defense ranked 31st in the league in terms of defensive efficiency.
The Packers play the Baltimore Ravens next weekend, and given the recent development Matthews status for the team’s next game is once again up in the air.
Earlier in the week, Matthews was considered probable for Sunday’s game, while returning from a hamstring injury that knocked him out of the Packers’ Week 3 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. A bye week between then and now, aided Matthews’ recovery so that he could start against the Lions this weekend.
The pass-rushing specialist has totaled three sacks over the Packers’ first four games this season.
The Packer also lost starting linebacker Brad Jones to a hamstring injury late in the first half against the Lions. Jones initially suffered a hamstring injury in the preseason, but returned in time for the Packers’ regular season opener.
Jones actually first sustained a hamstring injury this summer in a preseason game against Seattle, but returned in time for the regular-season opener. His replacement, fourth-year linebacker Robert Francisco also left Sunday’s game with a leg injury. However Francisco’s injury was described as a torn Achilles.