The Green Bay Packers will be without outside linebacker Clay Matthews in the Wild Card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Matthews has been ruled out to play on Sunday with a right thumb injury.
Matthews first fractured his right thumb in Week 5 and he missed a month because of the injury. Two weeks ago, he re-injured the thumb which forced him to sit out against the Chicago Bears in the final game of the regular-season. He had surgery last week to repair his thumb.
With Matthews out, the task is made a little easier for San Francisco’s offense to move down the field. Linebacker Andy Mulumba will start for Matthews, but he lacks the same level of talent.
Niners fans have not forgot about Matthews and the hit he laid out on Colin Kaepernick in the opening week of the season. Kaepernick was hit with a cheap shot by Matthews even though the QB was out of bounds after a play. Naturally, Joe Staley got in his face and Matthews slapped the left tackle. Jim Harbaugh would later call Clay out for his slap, saying, “If you’re gonna come to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap.”
In the Week 1 matchup between the 49ers and Packers, Matthews was a big force on defense with eight tackles and one sack. The last time the two teams met in the playoffs, he recorded five tackles, one sack and one pass defensed. The 49ers Faithful and Kaepernick will not miss seeing Matthews rushing in from the outside.