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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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