Clay Matthews: Could Green Bay Packers Linebacker Finally Be Back?

Chad LundbergCorrespondent IIIOctober 17, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers tries to tackle Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers beat the Rams 24-3.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Clay Matthews III, nicknamed "the Clay-maker," is arguably the best young pass rusher in the league, but he appears to be performing far below expectations with just two sacks six games into the season.

However, those might be some of the most misleading numbers of any player in the league. Matthews has greatly improved in stopping the run, whereas last year it seemed as though teams literally ran right over him.

More impressively, Matthews has the most hurries, knockdowns, pressures and sacks combined of any player in the entire league. He is getting to the quarterback. It's just not turning into sacks.

Still, from a fan perspective, you want to watch the game because you want to see the big play. Pressures and hurries are nice, but sacks get a crowd excited.

Matthews finally punched in his second sack of the season, and a well-timed one, on a fourth down that essentially sealed Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams. The fact that he is finally getting healthy is what has me the most excited.

Matthews has battled a quad injury for most of the season, but he finally participated in practice on a limited basis last week. Obviously, although I'm no doctor, that means he could potentially participate fully in this week's practice.

If this is the case, you can expect a more aggressive and more sack-happy Matthews for the rest of the season, barring any further injury.