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Wouldn’t It Be Great If Clay Matthews AND Nick Perry Were Healthy?

If the season started today, the Green Bay Packers would have to count on that very unlikely possibility. That both starting outside linebackers, Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, remain healthy.

Behind those two, the Packers have very little proven depth to get after the quarterback. Kyler Fackrell was largely a non-factor during his rookie year. Jayrone Elliott didn’t meet expectations in 2016. Gone are Julius Peppers and Datone Jones.

Surely, the Packers will add a pass rusher or two in the draft. However, Matthews addressed the elephant in the room when offseason workouts began on Tuesday.

“I just had this conversation with Nick when we got into town,” Matthews said. “We’ve had years where Nick’s had an exceptional year, like last year, and I was bitten by the injury bug. And I’ve had years when I’ve gotten after the quarterback and he hasn’t been able to finish the season. If you’re able to put us together, I think the possibilities are great.”

No doubt, but that’s a big if.

Matthews turned in his worst NFL season in 2016, while Perry was turning in his best. Matthews missed four games with his recurring hamstring injury and then played through a shoulder injury late in the year.

He turned in career lows in tackles (24) and sacks (5).

Perry, meanwhile, has never made it through a full 16-game schedule intact. Even while he was piling up a career-high 52 tackles and 11 sacks (which also led the team), he still missed two games to injury in 2016.

In his career, Perry has lost 20 games to injury. He’s played through injuries, which limited his effectiveness, in quite a few others.

Matthews has missed 17 games because of injury during his career. He’s made it through the full 16 unscathed three times — as a rookie and during the two years he played primarily inside linebacker.

That would seem to be part of the Packers’ plan for Matthews in 2017. Coach Mike McCarthy keeps saying they will move Matthews around, presumably because it gives him a better chance of staying on the field. Matthews is even echoing that refrain now, himself.

“I think the flexibility of myself being able to play multiple positions is really going to help this defense out,” Matthews said. “It’s really early right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up playing all over the defense.”

As for Perry, at least he’s trending in the right direction. He hasn’t been out for an extended period since 2013.

However, getting both of these guys through an entire season with their health intact seems like an impossibility.

It certainly is a nice thought, though. A healthy Matthews/Perry tandem could give the Packers the pass rush they so often lacked in 2016.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. PF4L April 18, 2017

    Yea…i know what you’re thinking….Who invited this fuck back here? Well, my blood runs green and gold. Sometimes i get the urge to “lay it down”, as it should be…deal with it.

    So….Joseph seemed to purge himself of the gossip mill, and write a decent article, nice Joe. So let’s look at this from another angle.

    I’m a dollar and cents guy, what are we getting for our money? What’s our ROI?

    Being healthy together would be, seemingly, a great accomplishment for these two. That statement right there throws up a flag, but anyway………

    A revised article headline…Wouldn’t it be great, if paying two linebackers 32 million dollars in 2017, was worth it?

    Yes Mathew’s, and Perry will pocket 32 million between them this season. Yes i’m using Perry’s signing bonus, don’t give a fuck, it’s cash he got paid. If you want to us their yearly average, knock your self out. That’s 25 million/year.

    For that kind of cheese someone better make All Fucking Pro. I’d like to think for 32 million, someone is at least making the Pro-Bowl. Maybe 24-27 sacks together, maybe more than 1 forced fumble between them? You get the picture.

    If you’re getting the impression i think Ted overpaid, Bingo. Not much to do with Clay, he’s in his last season. As many of you know, my feelings were Ted outbid himself on Perry (but he doesn’t care, he won’t be around long enough to deal with that bloated contract). I just happened to think that a player needs more than an 11 sack season in five years, to ink himself to a 59 million deal, but that’s just me.

    As far as moving Clay around….It was around a year ago that FatMac STAUNCHLY kept telling us Clay would be moved to his old spot, where his greatest talent lies. Now you’re hearing that get backtracked into moving him around. I guess that’s FatMac just being FatMac. Remember when he had a “set” amount of “run plays” he had to run because it was in his pre-game script? He keeps changing philosophies. This is FatMac’s 12th season…he’s still learning as he goes.

    As usual, no charge and you’re welcome.

  2. Deepsky April 19, 2017

    I thought the problem with playing Matthews and Perry at the same time is that they both excel from the right side and are average or worse from the left.

    That’s the whole reason why they acquired Peppers who played from the left. Now they have no one who excels on the left side.

    1. MJ April 19, 2017

      Perry does. He is better against the run at setting and edge.

  3. Unsupervised Child April 24, 2017

    It would be nice if Matthews would just play and stop being a girl on the bench. His father racked up better stats than Clay at his age. He’s only been healthy two of his six years. It’s time to make him earn his paycheck or cut him.

    And did anyone else pick up the fact he was “injured” and didn’t play about the same time his daughter was born last year??

  4. Skinny April 25, 2017

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Clay and Nick were bolder then we wouldn’t have to wait for sacks so long. And wouldn’t it be nice if Clay and Nick could play together in the kind of world where they belong. You know its gonna make this team that much better. When Clay and Nick can actually get on the field together. But lets get on the field together. And wouldn’t it be nice. Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true. We could get to QBs. And then the fans would be happy. Wouldn’t it be nice.