Clay Matthews is one of the most disruptive outside linebackers in the NFL when he’s not injured. Unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers though, injury is going to keep him out of action against the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers and Packers meet in the last game of Wild Card weekend. According to a report via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Matthews won’t be available:
Matthews won’t play in Sunday’s NFC wild-card game against the San Francisco 49ers. He was ruled out Monday after undergoing surgery last week.
The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker first broke his right thumb Oct. 6 against the Detroit Lions. He had surgery the next day to insert stabilizing pins and missed four games. When he returned Nov. 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles, he wore a giant club cast that covered his entire right hand, but the next week, he wore a much smaller cast.
He reinjured the thumb Dec. 22 on a sack ofPittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and needed another surgery. He missed this past Sunday’s 33-28 win over the Chicago Bears that gave the Packers the NFC North title and sent them to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
If the season was to end with the Packers losing to the 49ers in the Wild Card round, Matthews will finish the 2013 season with 41 tackles, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He would have only played in 11 games for the Packers in 2013.
This is an big blow for the Packers, especially if they have any hopes of making a huge playoff run. Green Bay has seemed like a “team of destiny’ up until this point, but the unfortunate truth is that Aaron Rodgers won’t be able to help contain San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick.
That would have been something Matthews would have excelled at, so Green Bay will need someone to step up in his absence.