Head coach Mike McCarthy said Matthews (knee) will be used at both inside and outside linebacker in 2018, Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal reports. "[Matthews] is at his best when he's creating targeting issues for the offense. When you line a premier player like Clay up in just one spot, you actually make it easier for the offense to identify and get to him with protection calls. It will be important for us to move Clay around, and that will be part of the new defense," McCarthy explained Tuesday.
Green Bay is retooling its defensive scheme this offseason under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Matthews, who's logged double-digit sacks in multiple seasons over the course of his career, is an outside linebacker by trade but has been forced into playing inside linebacker in recent seasons when injuries hit other members of the Packers' linebacking corps. The presence of up-and-coming inside linebackers Blake Martinez -- who tied for the league lead with 144 tackles in 2017 -- and Jake Ryan would suggest Matthews will see most of his playing time come on the edge in 2018 -- especially given Green Bay's lack of depth at outside -- but McCarthy's comments suggest Matthews is ticketed for a more versatile role. This makes Matthews an intriguing IDP prospect ahead of the upcoming campaign, as the pass-rusher could also be a consistent source of tackles depending on how much playing time he actually sees on the inside.
Matthews underwent knee surgery last week, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.
The procedure is being described as a "cleanup," but Matthews hadn't dealt with any reported knee issues this season, so it's an interesting development for the linebacker. Although there doesn't appear to be much concern about his health heading into the 2018 campaign, Matthews could be asked to restructure his contract this offseason, as he's scheduled to make $11.4 million in salary and bonuses. The 31-year-old finished the 2017 season 43 tackles (27 solo), 7.5 sacks and a fumble recovery across 14 outings.
Matthews finished the 2017 season with 44 tackles (28 solo), 8.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery over 14 games.
Matthews finished the season strong, totaling six sacks from Week 11 onward, to finish with his most sacks since 2014. He may no longer be the threat on the edge he once was, but is likely in the Packers' plans for 2018 with one year left on his contract.
Matthews (hamstring) is active Week 17 against the Lions.
Matthews will return after sitting out Week 16, but the veteran linebacker could still see his snaps scaled back with little on the line for the Packers in the regular-season finale. Green Bay used six of its seven inactive spots on players that had already been ruled out prior to Sunday morning, so it's possible they are suiting up players at much less than 100 percent out of necessity. It's unclear if Matthews fits that bill after logging limited practices all week, but it still wouldn't be wise to hold high expectations from him as an IDP. With Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder) on IR, Matthews should see most of the double teams from the Lions.
Matthews (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Lions, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.
Matthews was a limited participant in practice this week after sitting out the team's Week 16 loss to the Vikings. The Packers are already eliminated from the playoffs, which could lead to team to be more cautious with the veteran linebacker. A Matthews absence would likely lead to Ahmad Brooks and Vince Biegel seeing an uptick in snaps.
|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|
|2015||Green Bay Packers||16||66||49.0||17||6.5||1||42||42.0||42||0||3|
|2016||Green Bay Packers||12||24||20.0||4||5||0||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2017||Green Bay Packers||14||43||27.0||16||7.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|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|
|2015||Green Bay Packers||16||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2016||Green Bay Packers||12||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Green Bay Packers||14||1||0||1||0||1||63||1||0|