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.
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.