2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Matthews back from sore hamstring for Packers

By GENARO C. ARMAS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-03 18:01

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - It's easy to spot Clay Matthews at Packers practice, with his long blond hair protruding from his helmet and on to his neck and shoulders.

When the veterans are getting a break, the pass-rushing outside linebacker can often be found taking a breather next to A.J. Hawk, the durable inside linebacker.

After some doubt, they'll be together again this weekend to face the Detroit Lions. The Packers' bye week did wonders for Matthews and his sore hamstring.

``Well I mean we obviously had the bye week, which helped out as far as'' getting healthy, Matthews said Thursday. ``It was a fortuitous bye week, I'll say that.''

The TV commercial star and the eight-year veteran. The energized Matthews, in his fifth season, and the well-spoken, blue-collar Hawk. Mainstays of the Packers starting linebacking corps since 2009.

So many games against NFC North foes like the Lions, it must make playing them seem like second nature.

Wrong, said Hawk. Especially with Reggie Bush in the mix now in Detroit to join receiver Calvin Johnson to give opposing defenses headaches.

``And the truth is, I've been part of a lot of games like that. You go in with all these things that you think are 100 percent, and they can change in division games,'' Hawk said. ``I need these days leading up to every game. I need every rep I can get because we're working on so many different looks and so many different things.''

Sounds like sage comments a grizzled veteran would say. Hawk agreed to a pay cut in the offseason, not worried about outside perception of the deal. Hawk has also taken heat from fans about perhaps being a step slow, or not making enough big plays.

But he does make tackles - 28 this year, second behind Brad Jones, and a team-high 145 last season. He's also durable, having played in 123 of a possible 125 games while in Green Bay.

It's all in the preparation, Hawk said, at least until Sunday.

``I have little tips in the back of my head that I've written down all week,'' he said. ``But I know once I'm out there, we just need to run around and make plays.''

Which is exactly what Matthews is known for, becoming one of the league's most popular defensive players. His No. 52 jerseys might be outnumbered in the Lambeau Field stands only by the No. 12 jerseys for Aaron Rodgers among current players.

When he's on the field, Matthews fires up the crowd and his teammates. When he's on the sideline with a hamstring injury, like when he was knocked out of the Bengals game two weeks ago, it gives the green-and-gold fans a scare.

Matthews missed four games last season with a hamstring problem. He quickly reminded reporters Thursday that when he returned, Dec. 16 at Chicago, he had two sacks.

``The first part of getting over a hamstring strain is healing, and obviously I can't control that,'' Matthews said. ``But coming back, the final hurdle you have to overcome is mentally are you comfortable with exerting 100 percent effort or even more so. I wouldn't put myself out there if I wasn't.''

In his fifth season in the league, Matthews still possesses the wide-eyed eagerness of a rookie. But that experience is building up in his brain, beneath those trademark locks, especially when it comes to dealing with his hamstring.

Matthews was playing well with two forced fumbles and a sack against Cincinnati before departing. It was a joint decision with medical staff and coaches.

``I just told them where I was at and how I felt and moving forward what the smart thing would be,'' Matthews said. ``At that point in the game, with that lead, too, I felt like it was the wise decision.''

The Packers went on to cough up their 16-point lead.

But it's a long season. After the early bye, the Packers will have to play 13 straight weeks.

``I think I've become a lot smarter. Obviously a younger player would have kind have pressed the issue, maybe hurt himself even more so,'' Matthews said. ``But I think we're smart with the events that took place in Cincinnati and where we're at now, so fortunately there will be no time missed.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alfred MorrisNov 23 11:52p

Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris averaged 6.0 yards per attempt on 21 carries in the Week 12 game against the San Francisco 49ers. It was his first 100-yard game [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 23 10:32p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald's (knee) sprained knee did not respond as hoped before the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks, so he was inactive. He could well miss more games.

Doug MartinNov 23 10:23p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) returned to the lineup in Week 12 against the Chicago Bears. He carried 11 times for 27 yards. He was sidelined for [ More ]

Michael FloydNov 23 10:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd was targeted twice in the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks, but he did not record any catches or offensive statistics.

DeAndre HopkinsNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins posted five receptions for 39 yards in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is now over 100 receptions for the first time in his career.

Jorvorskie LaneNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers FB Jorvorskie Lane (ankle) was carted off in the second quarter of the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears due to what head coach Lovie [ More ]

Mike EvansNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans had three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears. He has now scored at [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) suffered a pectoral injury in the Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he will go for an MRI. He might miss [ More ]

A.J. GreenNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green posted a career-high 12 receptions for 121 yards in Week 12 against the Houston Texans. 'It's just one of those days when you just [ More ]

Andre SmithNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) suffered a partially torn triceps muscle in the Week 12 against the Houston Texans. He will go for an MRI Monday, Nov. 24.

T Y HiltonNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton was up early Sunday, Nov. 23, for the birth of his daughter, and he promised a touchdown. After his wife delivered their child, he [ More ]

Eddie LacyNov 23 08:02p

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (illness) ran 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings, and he added two [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck completed 21 of his 32 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also ran eight times [ More ]

Charles JohnsonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson had three receptions for a team-high 52 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Greg JenningsNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) had four receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers, his former team. It [ More ]

C. PattersonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle, knee) left the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers due to ankle and knee injuries.

LeGarrette BlountNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount carried 12 times for a team-high 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after re-signing with the team this week.

Golden TateNov 23 06:52p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate had four receptions for 97 yards in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. He went over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career.

Jonas GrayNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray did not play in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after he did not report to the team's facility Friday, Nov. [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright played a season-high 60 snaps in Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, which shattered his previous best of 21 snaps, which he hit [ More ]

Kendall WrightNov 23 06:23p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright was limited to just one catch for 28 yards in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That catch did not come until 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Isaiah CrowellNov 23 06:12p

The Cleveland Browns have 14 rushing touchdowns this season, which is the most by the franchise since it had 14 in the 1989 season. The team had just four [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerNov 23 06:12p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger completed 20 of his 39 pass attempts for a career-high 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brian HoyerNov 23 05:02p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer completed 23 of his 40 pass attempts for 322 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions in the Week 12 win against the Atlanta Falcons.

Josh GordonNov 23 05:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon posted eight receptions for 120 yards in his regular season debut in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons. He was targeted a game-high 16 times in the win.

Isaiah CrowellNov 23 05:02p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell carried 12 times for game-high 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 12 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

LeSean McCoyNov 23 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy carried 21 times for 130 yards and a rushing touchdown in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, and he added one reception for just one yard.

Mark SanchezNov 23 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez completed 30 of his 43 pass attempts for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Week 12 win against the Tennessee Titans.

Darren SprolesNov 23 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles carried six times for 25 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, and he added three receptions for 14 yards.

Dwayne AllenNov 23 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) is inactive Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Trent WilliamsNov 23 12:32p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (ankle, knee) is not expected to play in Week 12 because of his injuries.

Danny LansanahNov 23 12:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah is moving from strongside linebacker to weakside linebacker in place of LB Lavonte David (hamstring). LB Orie Lemon will start at strongside linebacker.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group