Matthews has been sitting out since Aug. 1, but could play next Thursday in the preseason opener against New England.
"This is probably the best I've felt this entire offseason," he said. "I was able to do the entire offseason program, put in my work back home, and just kind of within the first couple practices started having some soreness. ... I think we're just being more precautious and smart than anything else."
The Packers prefer to be safe with Matthews, who has averaged more than 10 sacks a season since joining the NFL in 2009.
"Clay Matthews is a great pass rusher. He's going to continue to play as many different positions as we can get out of him," McCarthy said. "We need to utilize him as much as we can. Talked to Clay a couple times early in off-season program and meetings he's been through. He's moving around."
Matthews spent a lot of time playing on the inside of the defense last season and in his exit interviews he said the coaching staff discussed keeping him at multiple spots.
Matthews recorded 61 tackles, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles for the Packers last season.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers moved Matthews to the inside to help the Packers run defense. After the season, head coach Mike McCarthy said Matthews would be moving back to his position on the outside next year.
Matthews told Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel that the team told him he might be asked to play inside against next season.
"We had an exit interview at the end of the year where we get to talk to all the coaches on ... the future of the team, the future of yourself," Matthews said. "We talked. Moving forward I see from not only our coach's expectations, but my own expectations (are there) for playing inside."
Matthews is fine with that.
"I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the change," he told Silverstein. "At the same time, I'm very good at getting after the quarterback off the edge, so I think there's a fine line. So, we'll see. Week in and week out you never knew if I was going to be there 100% of the snaps or only 10."
The NFL fined
The Packers are currently 7 1/2-point favorites against Detroit Sunday.
|2009||Green Bay Packers||16||51||37.0||14||10||0||0||0.0||0||0||7|
|2010||Green Bay Packers||15||60||54.0||6||13.5||1||62||62.0||62||1||4|
|2011||Green Bay Packers||15||50||37.0||13||6||3||47||15.7||38||1||9|
|2012||Green Bay Packers||12||43||32.0||11||13||0||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2013||Green Bay Packers||11||41||26.0||15||7.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2014||Green Bay Packers||16||61||45.0||16||11||1||40||40.0||40||0||9|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2009||Green Bay Packers||16||0||0||1||0||3||46||3||1|
|2010||Green Bay Packers||15||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|2011||Green Bay Packers||15||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|2012||Green Bay Packers||12||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||Green Bay Packers||11||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Green Bay Packers||16||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
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