According to Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy, star linebacker Clay Matthews may have suffered a nearly identical injury to the broken right thumb that caused him to miss four games earlier this season.
"“I couldn’t give you a timeline,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after the team’s 38-31 loss, “but I think based off the history of what happened the first time, I’m told it’s similar to [a] repeat injury.” (ESPN)"
The original injury suffered by Matthews against the Detroit Lions on October 6 was diagnosed as a Bennett’s fracture and required surgery. Matthews has played with increasingly smaller casts on his right hand, and appeared to have a smaller, splint-like brace around the thumb during today’s 38-31 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He re-injured it while bringing Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to the ground on a sack, similar to the initial injury.
Of course, if the Chicago Bears were to manage to beat the Philadelphia Eagles tonight, the Packers’ playoff hopes are dashed and Matthews will have the entire off-season to rehab the injury. Even if the Bears lose, the Packers need to win a road game at Soldier Field in Week 17 over the Bears in order to make the postseason.
The Packers’ linebacker corps has been decimated with injuries this season, and the much-maligned, Dom Capers-run defense will have to pull it together next week, and it appears as though they might be without their best player yet again.