NFL: Club-handed Clay Matthews like a cat without whiskers

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Green Bay Packers pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews returned from a thumb injury for last Sunday's game vs. Philadelphia wearing a heavy black wrap resembling a club to protect his right hand.

The Packers did get three sacks, but Matthews was mainly neutralized by the Eagles' tricky, quick-strike offense, finishing with just two tackles and no sacks, hits or hurries on the quarterback.

The linebacker had an odd analogy for the experience of playing with a club on his hand for the first time in his life.

"It's kind of like a cat, when you cut its whiskers off, it just loses its balance," he told "I've never done that before, but I've heard that's what happens. That's how I felt. You have to overcome that."

According to the website, Matthews practiced much of the subsequent week with his right wrist in a cast that keeps his fingers exposed, and that he hoped to wear that in Sunday's game against the Giants.

"So I'm hoping with my fingers back, I'll be like a feline who got his whiskers back, and I'll be able to be more spry out there," he said.