Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Clay Matthews: His absence could actually benefit the Packers

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It is official that Clay Matthews has had surgery on his broken thumb and is out for an indefinite amount of time. How long he will miss is a wide open question, but it is safe to say we will not see Clay on the field in uniform until November at the earliest.

That is the third major linebacker loss for the Packers from the Detroit game; Brad Jones went down with a hamstring injury and Robert Francois was lost for the year with an Achilles tendon tear.

Normally we would think the Packers would make a move this week to add another linebacker to the team, but the Packers have not been playing much of the base 3-4 defense and usually they are in the nickel or dime packages. With the new-look NFL being completely pass happy, the rule changes benefiting the offense and teams going to three and four wide receiver sets it requires the nickel and dime defenses most of the time.

I am thinking the Packers management took this into consideration and it starts to make sense by adding CB James Nixon to replace Francois on the Packers roster already this week. The defense should also be getting Casey Hayward back in the secondary soon since he started practicing last week.  The secondary is finally getting healthy and fully-staffed for the first time this year which is very good news for the team playing nickel and dime coverage a lot.

Another side benefit from the thumb injury is now Clay’s hamstring injury will have plenty of time to completely heal and when he does get back on the field that should be one less item for him to worry about.

No team wants to be without their best defensive player, but this is an opportunity for the Packers to grow more as a defensive unit and when Matthews returns they will be better because of it.

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Tags: Brad Jones Casey Hayward Clay Matthews Green Bay Packers Robert Francois

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