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Clay Matthews injury: Linebacker expected to return vs. Bears

The Chicago Bears got some bad news on Wednesday, as the Green Bay Packers announced that linebacker Clay Matthews is likely to play on Sunday.

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bears got some bad news on Wednesday, as Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy announced that linebacker Clay Matthews is expected to play on Sunday, according to ESPN Chicago.

Matthews practiced on Wednesday, though McCarthy stated that Thusday's practice would be the "toughest" for Matthews, according to the report. Matthews hasn't played in the team's last four games due to the hamstring injury.

It's a big boost for the Green Bay defense given that Matthews, a three-time Pro Bowler, is widely considered to be the best player on that defense and one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Bears have struggled to protect the quarterback (be it Jay Cutler or Jason Campbell) this season.

Sunday's game could lock the Bears out of the NFC North crown, as the Packers would seal at least a tie within it if they manage a win, and in doing so, they'd hold the tiebreakers after besting the Bears earlier in the season at Lambeau.