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Clay Matthews expects to play in Eagles-Packers tilt

The Green Bay Packers' offense is severely undermanned, but the defense should get a boost for Sunday's game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

Clay Matthews told USA Today's Tom Pelissero on Thursday that he expects to play with a club over his surgically repaired thumb this week. The All-Pro linebacker has missed four games with the injury.

Matthews conceded that the final decisions will be up to the coaching staff, and he's unsure how many snaps he will play if given the green light. It's a positive sign that he graduated to a limited practice Thursday after doing individual drills Wednesday.

Although the offense figures to experience growing pains without Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay defense has shown gradual improvement since surrendering nearly 500 yards to the San Francisco 49ers in the season opener.

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Even if Matthews' ability to wrap up ball carriers and force turnovers is limited by the club, the pass rushing should improve with outside linebacker Nick Perry (broken foot) also expected to return to game action.

If Seneca Wallace's disappointing Monday night performance in relief of Rodgers is any indication, the Packers' defense will have to shoulder the load for the next month.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previewed "Thursday Night Football" and "stuck a fork" in the Raiders' 2013 chances.

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