The Green Bay Packers will be without four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Clay Matthews for "more than a month," according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, after the outside linebacker underwent surgery on Monday to repair a broken thumb.
Through four games in 2013, Matthews managed to tally three sacks for the Packers before he suffered the injury in the third quarter of the team's 22-9 victory over the Detroit Lions. It is believed that he suffered the injury during a sack of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford that knocked the Lions out of field goal range.
On Tuesday, Jason Hirschhorn of SB Nation's Packers blog, Acme Packing Company, tried to stay optimistic about the loss of such a dynamic player:
If there's a silver lining here, it's that Matthews will have plenty of time to rest his ailing hamstring. Matthews was limited in practice much of last week, and the coaches felt it prudent to play him fewer snaps this Sunday than usual. Matthews' likely replacements, Mike Neal and Nick Perry, both performed well in his absence against Detroit applying steady pressure and registering their first sacks of the season. Additionally, the Packers don't play any great quarterbacks either over the next month. In their next four games, Green Bay will face Joe Flacco, Brandon Weeden, Christian FreeCassel, and Jay Cutler.
A first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Matthews has managed to accumulate 45.5 career sacks in 59 starts and has earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, including First Team All-Pro honors in 2010.
Through four games, the Packers have compiled a 2-2 record and are in third in the NFC North thanks to an offense that ranks third in the NFL. However, the loss of Matthews for an extended period wont help a defense that already ranks in the bottom 10 of the league at stopping the pass.