Matthews Must Adapt to Life with Club

Matthews (Jeff Hanisch - USA Today Sports)

With so much of his game predicated on being physical, Clay Matthews faces a big challenge without the full use of both hands, according to two men who have walked in his shoes. Plus, the final injury reports and more from Friday.

Kevin Greene knows Clay Matthews' pain.

So does Morgan Burnett.

Matthews is listed as probable for the Green Bay Packers' game against Philadelphia on Sunday. He's worn an enormous club-cast on his right hand all week. So, after a four-game absence, Matthews will be back in the lineup but won't be playing with the full use of both hands.

"I wouldn't say that I played with a club quite like what Clay is going to wear," Greene, the Packers' outside linebackers coach, told Packer Report on Friday. "But I broke a hand and played with kind of a cast on it, and it limited me. So, Clay's going to be a little limited with the club but he's going to be able to bring everything else to the game: his passion, his speed and athleticism, and his voice to this team and this defense, and leadership. He's going to add a lot."

So much of Matthews' game is about playing physical, which means the violent use of two hands to beat a blocker, and then the ability to make a tackle.

"Everything we do is with our hands in creating space between us and a blocker," Greene said. "He is going to have his work cut out for him as far as disengaging and using his hands to grab a quarterback. Hopefully, he's in that position. We just rely so much on our hands to do our job that he's going to have to find a way around it."

Burnett played with a club-cast in 2011 after breaking a hand in practice.

"It's different," Burnett said. "You just have to get used to it and challenge yourself throughout practice to wrap up. Of course, you're not going to able to grab but you can still do the wrap motion. Just don't think so hard about it, don't let it be a distraction to you and go out there and play."

Packers injury report

Out: QB Aaron Rodgers (did not participate; collarbone). Doubtful: OLB Andy Mulumba (did not participate; ankle). Questionable: G T.J. Lang (limited; concussion), OLB Nick Perry (limited; foot). Probable: OLB Clay Matthews (limited; thumb), OLB Mike Neal (full; knee), DT Ryan Pickett (limited; knee).

If Perry returns, the Packers will have depth at outside linebacker after having just Mike Neal and Nate Palmer for the second half last week. "How he feels tomorrow will be a huge indication," McCarthy said. "But I feel good about what he's done this week and where his mind-set is."

McCarthy said it "looks good" for Lang, who has cleared the final concussion hurdle and took "limited reps" on Friday. Still, the Packers might be inclined to go with Don Barclay replacing Lang at right guard and Marshall Newhouse replacing Barclay at right tackle after that duo took the lion's share of the snaps this week.

Eagles injury report

Doubtful: LB Jake Knott (hamstring), QB Michael Vick (hamstring). Questionable: CB Bradley Fletcher (pectoral), CB Roc Carmichael (groin), S Patrick Chung (shoulder), WR Damaris Johnson (ankle), T Jason Peters (pectoral/shoulder), RB Chris Polk (shoulder/knee), DE Cedric Thornton (knee), G Julian Vandervelde (knee).

All of the players on the Eagles' list were full participation. Receiver Riley Cooper (illness) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (ankle) were removed from the injury report.

Four-point stance

-- McCarthy said he had no further updates on Rodgers, including an updated timeline. "He hasn't had any more testing done since Tuesday," McCarthy said.

-- So much for home cooking: Oddly, the Eagles are 4-1 on the road this season but 0-4 at home, and have lost 10 straight at home.

-- Wallace has thrown for more than 225 yards seven times in his career. He's won just one of those starts, however: A 23-20 victory over St. Louis while playing for Seattle in 2008. It's been more than four seasons since Wallace topped 225 yards; he threw for 257 in a 34-17 loss to Indianapolis for Seattle in 2009.

-- Rookie running back Eddie Lacy was voted by fans the Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week after rushing for 150 yards and one touchdown against Chicago.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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