If Clay Matthews can rack up 13½ regular-season sacks, add 3½ more in the postseason and finish runner-up for the NFL's defensive player of the year award without taking a preseason snap and while playing the second half of the season on a broken leg, what can he do with a full preseason and a healthy limb?
Wait, a broken what?
Everyone knows Matthews missed all four preseason games last season with his second hamstring injury in as many training camps, but few knew the Green Bay Packers' star outside linebacker played the second half of the season with a stress fracture in his lower leg. That would explain why Matthews was listed on every injury report from Week 9 through the NFC championship game as probable with a shin injury. He wasn't listed on the injury report prior to Super Bowl XLV.
"I don't make a big deal of it," Matthews said in a wide-ranging interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Tuesday. "(It happened) some time in the middle of the season. You can't do anything about it. I was just taking practices off and showing up on game day and giving it my all."
Matthews brought up the injury only because he was asked about how the loss of defensive end Cullen Jenkins, the Packers' best pass rusher on the defensive line who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, would impact him. In the 15 games, including postseason, that Jenkins played last season, Matthews had 14 sacks. In the five games Jenkins missed because of injury, Matthews totaled just three sacks.
Clay Matthews can play hurt but would prefer not to
Green Bay Press Gazette | Aug 10