Starter Pack: Surgery for Matthews

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

On Monday afternoon, we told you that linebacker Clay Matthews was likely headed for surgery on his broken right thumb.

That’s what sources told both ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and me a day after Matthews was injured in Sunday’s 22-9 win over the Detroit Lions.

Apparently, doctors felt that the best course of action was to perform the surgery immediately because a few hours after our report, Fox Sports reported that Matthews underwent the procedure on Monday.

It was the second straight game that Matthews was injured while making a big play. Matthews broke his thumb on his third-quarter sack of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. In the previous game, Matthews pulled his hamstring while forcing Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to fumble.

“I told him he’s going to have to stop sacking the quarterback because the last two weeks, he’s injured himself sacking the quarterback,” Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Monday.

In all seriousness, the Packers know they can’t replace all that their four-time Pro Bowl linebacker gives them, but they feel better about doing so this year thanks to the emergence of Mike Neal and the improved play of Nick Perry.


  • Also on our ESPN.com Packers team page, coach Mike McCarthy indicated the Packers probably won’t be reaching out to the former backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who was released by the Oakland Raiders on Monday. McCarthy seems pleased with veteran backup Seneca Wallace. Said McCarthy: “Personally, I’m very happy with the quarterback room, the way it looks, the people in it.” We also reviewed some of the key aspects of the Packers’ win over the Lions in our weekly Upon Further Review feature, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ production on deep throws thanks to some numbers from ESPN Stats and Information.

  • Our ESPN.com Lions reporter Michael Rothstein broke down James Jones’ 83-yard touchdown reception against Detroit and also had the details of the alleged incident between Lions center Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin band, which performed on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

  • At ESPNMilwaukee.com, Jason Wilde wrote about the Raiola-band incident and used the following quote from McCarthy’s Monday press conference: “We love the Wisconsin band, and obviously, I don’t know what the hell he’s thinking about, saying anything negative to the band.”

  • In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Mike Vandermause noted that the Packers went 3-1 last season when Matthews was out with a hamstring injury, and Weston Hodkiewicz reported that the Packers worked out Green Bay native Mike Taylor, a rookie linebacker from the University of Wisconsin.

  • In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob McGinn gave high marks all around in his review of the Packers’ performance against the Lions.