Although he hasn’t missed a game because of it, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews hasn’t been through a full practice since October because of a shin injury.
That changed Wednesday, when Matthews participated in 11-on-11 drills in full pads for the first time since before the Jets game.
Since the Jets game, which is when he suffered the injury, Matthews only practiced on a limited basis. The Packers only ran Matthews through the jog-through portion of practice and let him watch the rest in order to let the pain in his shin subside.
Matthews’ sack production has dipped in the second half of the season and there’s been speculation the injury was to blame, something Matthews has denied. No one can say for sure what effect the injury had on Matthews’ production, but that, coupled with the lack of practice time certainly couldn’t have helped.
“Getting back out here hopefully will help my game out, that’s obviously yet to be determined,” Matthews said. “But any time you practice, go through the reps, see them in live action, that’s only going to help you out as opposed to watching them on film. Obviously I do my due diligence (studying videotape), and I’m going to keep doing that off the field. I feel (good) about where I’m at all season, especially these last couple weeks about going out there and knowing what to do. But obviously (practicing) is going to help.”
Matthews currently has 12.5 sacks, which is second in the league, and the Packers will need his top effort in what has turned out to be their biggest game of the season.
If the Packers lose to the New York Giants on Sunday, they’re eliminated from the playoff picture.