Rapoport added that the injury likely explains the Patriots' interest in free-agent wide receiver Eric Decker. Multiple media outlets reported that New England hosted the 31-year-old Decker for a workout on Monday.
Matthews missed his third straight practice on Wednesday after injuring his hamstring during Sunday's session, per the Boston Globe.
The 26-year-old is not the only Patriots wideout nursing an injury. Malcolm Mitchell has not been cleared for practice with a knee injury and Kenny Britt has been sidelined with an ailing hamstring since June. In addition, Julian Edelman is expected to serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Matthews spent an injury-plagued season with the Buffalo Bills in 2017, appearing in 10 games (seven starts) and recording 25 receptions for 282 yards and two touchdowns -- career lows in each category.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Matthews spent his first three seasons with Philadelphia after the Eagles made him a second-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014.
Matthews had eight touchdown catches in each of his first two seasons and established career highs with 85 receptions for 997 yards while appearing in all 16 games in 2015.