LB Clay Matthews is the Packers’ best pass rusher. His uncle, Bruce Matthews, is the Tennessee Titans offensive line coach.
It won’t be the same for Clay as going head-to-head on the field against Bruce, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, but this is about as close as it gets.
“It’s going to be exciting,” the younger Matthews said on Thursday in the Packers’ locker room. “It’s one of those things you think about but you never think it’s going to come to fruition.”
Matthews said he talks with his uncle here and there during the season, but their conversations have stopped this week, understandably so. Matthews leads the Packers with 11 sacks, and his uncle is in charge of keeping Tennessee QB Jake Locker upright on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
“It will be interesting to see what they do, if they give a little extra help over there, or if he wants to leave me one on one,” Matthews said. “Ultimately, I’ll have some choice words for him after the game.”
Another Matthews, Kevin — who is Clay’s cousin and Bruce’s son — had been starting at center for the Titans but injured his ankle this past week and likely will miss the game. So the two cousins probably won’t be on the same field together for the first time as pros.
Matthews returned to action last week after a four-game absence due to a hamstring injury, and he was no worse for wear. He recorded two sacks plus two other tackles for loss and deflected a pass in coverage.
“I’m happy to have gotten through the game with no setbacks,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a new week, not only building up physical strength but knocking the rust off. I feel good overall.”
Tags: bruce matthews, clay matthews
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 21 Comments »
Mike McCarthy said on Thursday that the plan is to get RB James Starks back from his knee injury for the playoffs, and Starks told reporters that all is going well with his rehab.
“I’m doing well right now, ahead of schedule,” Starks said. “All the swelling and everything is gone, so that’s a positive. I just have to keep getting it stronger so I can cut how I want to and not be slowed down in any way.”
Starks has been out since sustaining a bone bruise on his knee late in the victory over Minnesota three weeks ago. The Packers did not place him on injured reserve with the hope that he could return for the playoffs, and that now appears a distinct possibility.
“That’s what the medical staff is telling me,” McCarthy said.
The knee problem is the second injury this season for Starks, who had a bad bout with turf toe in the preseason that kept him inactive for the first five games of the regular season. Prior to the knee injury, Starks had rushed for a combined 236 yards over the four-game stretch that culminated in the Minnesota game on Dec. 2.
Tags: james starks, Playoffs
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 18 Comments »
LB Erik Walden (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s workout, but FB John Kuhn was added to the absence list.
Kuhn was not on the injury report on Wednesday, so an update from Mike McCarthy will be coming after practice.
Otherwise, the participation at practice on Thursday was essentially unchanged from Wednesday.
Post-practice update: Kuhn’s absence was “not injury related,” according to McCarthy, while OL Greg Van Roten was added to the injury report with a back injury. He was limited in practice, but the injury isn’t something the medical staff is overly concerned about.
With Van Roten, T.J. Lang (concussion, illness) and Jeff Saturday (neck/shoulder) all dealing with issues, the offensive line was a little shorthanded at practice, but McCarthy didn’t sound worried. He said Saturday could potentially return to practice on Friday, and he anticipates Lang being cleared by Sunday. Lang hasn’t passed the concussion protocol yet, but he wasn’t able to proceed with any testing on Thursday because he had the flu.
Tags: erik walden, injury, john kuhn
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 5 Comments »
Due to inclement weather, the Lambeau Field Atrium and all its businesses will close at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20. The Atrium and all its businesses, including the Packers Pro Shop, Curly’s Pub and Packers Hall of Fame, will re-open Friday for regularly scheduled hours.
Tags: atrium, lambeau field, snow, winter storm
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 8 Comments »
Led by QB Aaron Rodgers, who earned the fifth-most votes overall in the recently concluded fan voting for the Pro Bowl, six Packers pulled in the most votes at their respective positions.
The other position leaders in the NFC are FB John Kuhn, C Jeff Saturday, KR Randall Cobb, OLB Clay Matthews and SS Charles Woodson.
Voting by the players and coaches has not yet been tabulated. Fan voting counts one-third in the selection process for the Pro Bowl rosters, which will be announced next Wednesday.
As the top NFC QB, Rodgers finished fifth overall in the fan voting with 777,827 votes. Leading the way was Broncos QB Peyton Manning (993,045), followed by Patriots QB Tom Brady (980,099), Texans RB Arian Foster (829,591) and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (828,255).
Tags: aaron rodgers, charles woodson, clay matthews, john kuhn, pro bowl voting, randall cobb
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 14 Comments »