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Clay Matthews injury: Packers LB is likely out vs. 49ers

The Packers will likely be without Clay Matthews against the 49ers on Sunday due to the outside linebacker's nagging thumb injury.

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Clay Matthews will likely miss Sunday's NFC wild card game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy announced Tuesday.

Matthews was held out of the Packers' regular season finale against the Chicago Bears after aggravating the surgically-repaired thumb that he fractured earlier in the season. Matthews was forced to miss four games after Week 5 before returning.

While the news is good for the 49ers' offense, David Fucillo at 49ers blog Niners Nation is apparently bummed that the 49ers won't get a chance to exact revenge on Matthews after the outside linebacker blatantly hit quarterback Colin Kaepernick out of bounds during the season-opening matchup between the two teams.

Although this downgrades the Packers defense, I am a little disappointed Matthews went get a chance to play. In Week 1, he made a diving hit on Colin Kaepernick after he was out of bounds. Joe Staley intervened, and Matthews took a swing with what appeared to be an open hand. The next day, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh made some pointed comments about how if a player was going to come at another player, come with knuckles, not a slapAlex Boone was asked what he would fine Matthews if he could. Boone said he'd probably just punch Matthews in the face.

Despite playing in just 11 games, Matthews is Green Bay's leading pass rusher with 7.5 sacks this season. However, the Packers are 4-1 in his absence.

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