Matthews' injury forces defense to adjust

Ryan Wood
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With a groin injury preventing Clay Matthews from feeling fully healthy, the Green Bay Packers adjusted their defensive scheme.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) makes Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throw the ball away in the third quarter during Sunday's game at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

Matthews is usually a regular in the dime package. Against the Vikings, the Packers used a rotation that included outside linebackers Mike Neal and Jayrone Elliott.

"We were just, obviously, monitoring my snap count and seeing how I felt," Matthews said. "As the game went on, I felt more comfortable. I think you saw that with not really coming off the field (in the second half)."

Green Bay further adjusted its dime package, giving inside linebacker Brad Jones snaps that typically go to fellow inside linebacker A.J. Hawk. Jones, who hadn't played many defensive snaps in previous weeks, said he knew coming into Sunday he would be the dime linebacker.

"I think I played well," Jones said. "I had no issues. When you don't have a lot of plays coming your way — it's hard to evaluate. But you look at the film and figure it out."

Matthews said he expects to return to full strength next week when the Packers host the New England Patriots. With more time to heal, he doesn't anticipate any issues with his groin.

"I don't see there being any limitations going forward," Matthews said.

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