Packers LB Clay Matthews says shoulder injury improving

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) 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.

---

For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.