Packers linebacker Clay Matthews hopes smaller cast leads to better grip

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews is working with a smaller cast on his injured right thumb.

Maybe that will give the Packers' defense a tighter grasp on shutting down opponents in the fourth quarter.

Green Bay has been outscored 83-46 in fourth quarters this year. It's a season-long problem especially exposed the last two weeks when long drives by the Bears and Eagles chewed away fourth-quarter minutes in back-to-back losses at Lambeau Field.

Coach Mike McCarthy has talked about better tackling in preparing for this weekend's game against the Giants. The Packers also only have three interceptions this season. Improvements in either area would help.

Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett says there's no "magic formula" in the fourth quarter, but a matter of better execution at the end.

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