We already knew that Clay Matthews suffered a broken thumb during yesterday's win over the Lions. What wasn't clear is exactly how long the Packers would be without their All-Pro linebacker. The early indications were all over the place, with our friends at Cheesehead TV openly speculating that Matthews' season could be over.
While there's still no official word from the team, NFL insider Adam Schefter reports that those in the know expect Matthews to be sidelined for a month.
Packers LB Clay Matthews still is undergoing more testing, but he is expected to miss one month with a broken thumb.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 7, 2013
Now, missing a month is certainly better than the remainder of the season, but that doesn't make Matthews' injury any easier to stomach. The Packers' pass rush has been inconsistent so far in 2013, and losing the team's best defensive player makes their task that much more difficult.
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.
Still, this stings for a team that just got its season back on track this week. You don't replace a player of Clay Matthews' caliber.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn