Matthews will not require surgery on the shoulder injury that afflicted him during this past season, ESPN's Rob Demovsky reports. Matthews separated his left shoulder after taking a borderline hit from Eagles guard Allen Barbre during Green Bay's Week 12 win. Although Matthews didn't miss a game because of the problem, it noticeably impacted his playing time and production, evidenced by his mere one sack through the Packers' final five regular-season outings. Fortunately, though, Matthews won't require surgery this offseason, which should enable him to participate in OTAs and minicamp, thus avoiding having to rehab instead.
Matthews finished the 2016 season with 24 tackles, including 5.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and three passes defensed in 12 games. Matthews ended the season with career lows in tackles, both solo and assisted, and sacks. He also saw his playing time drop from 97 percent of defensive snaps in 2015 to just 46 percent in 2016. His four games missed were due to a shoulder injury that could require offseason work and it seems as though he was limited by the injury in the final seven games of the regular season and three playoff games after he returned. He'll look to recover and bounce back to his usual levels of productivity in 2017.
Matthews had a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in Sunday's win over the Giants. Matthews played in 80 percent of Green Bay's defensive snaps and played poorly for most of the afternoon. His strip sack of Eli Manning in the fourth quarter was a heads up play, with Matthews being one of the only players on the field who recognized that the loose ball was still live before he recovered it. Other than that play, he wasn't in on a single tackle and didn't do much by way of pass coverage. The season as a whole has been a bit of a let down for Matthews, whose posted career lows in sacks and tackles. He'll look to bounce back against the Cowboys in next weeks divisional round playoff contest.
Matthews deems his left shoulder "a lot stronger" after Sunday's victory against the Seahawks, Ryan Wood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. "Last week, I was practically rushing with one arm," Matthews said Monday. "I felt a lot better. A few times, there was some pain out there, but I thought I held up. I thought I was able to contribute and have some good rushes. Hopefully, it's that much better next week, and keep progressing." For the second straight game, Matthews was contained to a third-down role and obvious pass-rushing situations, resulting in meager production yet again (two tackles, one solo). Since returning from a three-game absence in Week 10, his share of the defensive snaps has decreased in four subsequent contests, including just 34 percent of such snaps Sunday. Considering his comments Monday, perhaps he's bottomed out in that regard, but his IDP relevance is at an all-time low at the moment.
Matthews (shoulder) is active for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Matthews will play through the AC joint separation in his left shoulder for the second consecutive contest, looking to improve upon his workload (44 percent of the defensive snaps) from Week 13.