Packers LB Clay Matthews says shoulder injury improving

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has been playing through a shoulder injury, but hopes to get more snaps against the Vikings this week.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews says that his left shoulder injury is improving, and that he hopes to get more snaps in Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Matthews has been playing through the injury when he was hurt following a crunching, blind-slide block by Eagles lineman Allen Barbre on Nov. 28.

Matthews’ production has tailed off as he plays through the pain, with no sacks and just two tackles in a limited role the past three weeks.

But the long-haired linebacker said on Thursday that he’s encouraged as he gradually gets strength and range of motion back. He says the goal is to get back to as close to 100 percent as possible.

Matthews says he hasn’t suffered any setbacks while playing through the injury. He has also missed four games this season with a hamstring injury.

“I feel like this week with where I’m at mentally, I feel like this week should be a week where I can hopefully do the things that I’m accustomed to doing,” Matthews said.

Matthews, who has four sacks, also had to return to playing inside linebacker at times last month because of injuries to starters Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez.