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Clay Matthews on Post-Surgical Thumb: "It Looks Like a Shark Attack"

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Clay Matthews on Post-Surgical Thumb: "It Looks Like a Shark Attack"

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews shared several previously unpublished revelations in an interview with Tom Pelissero of USA Today, published on Wednesday.

Perhaps most interesting was Matthews' thoughts on his twice-broken thumb last season and the surgery it took to correct it.

Said Matthews:

It started with rigorous physical therapy three times a week, just because the way in which I injured it wasn't like a typical break. We had to treat it more like a soft tissue injury — like an ACL or something — because it required manipulating the tendon and drilling holes in bones and this and that. I asked my team doctor, 'When's the last time you've seen this injury in the NFL?' Couldn't name one. That's why when you deal with (people saying), 'Brett Favre played with a broken thumb.' My thumb was out here! There's no way he could even grip a ball! I have a good picture I can show anyone of my hand after surgery. It honestly looks like I got a shark attack.

He continued:

It's called a tendon transfer. I broke it (the first time), and they did a closed-pin reduction. (The thumb) was dislocated, so they put it back in there. The bones line up, but it was a real small piece of the bone. So, everything was fine. I was coming out, I was working hard, and I was in a cast. And unfortunately, on a sack of (Ben) Roethlisberger (on Dec. 22), the tip of my thumb (hit) my teammate's helmet. All that pressure went down the cast, broke it again. So then, to make it tighter, we took part of the tendon, turned it around, drilled some holes and they almost tied a knot through. It's stronger than (the left one). Now it's super tight.

Matthews 75 to 80 percent recovered and is confident that he'll be fine by the start of the regular season, but with the team's offseason program starting next week (Apr. 22), it stands to reason that Matthews may not be taking part fully in all activities.

As part of a Q&A session, Matthews also shared his thoughts on playing with Julius Peppers and how it may open up opportunities for himself, the direction the team's defense is taking and the challenge of becoming the franchise's all-time sack leader, among many more topics.

Follow the link above. The entire article is worth your time.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

4thand1's picture

This was a case where he should have been put on IR. But, just another case on a freak Packer injury. Hit his thumb on his own player's helmet. Good article and the freak injury to Perry, guy fell on his foot breaking a heal bone.

The TKstinator's picture

"Heal bone" is EXACTLY what I'm thinking!!

4thand1's picture

Alright, alright...............heel bone.

The TKstinator's picture

Just messin' with ya, amigo.

4thand1's picture

No problem, I'll be baaack

Allan Murphy's picture

clay is a beast or should i say he is wound up tight lol

Allan Murphy's picture

clay is a beast or should i say he is wound up tight lol

The TKstinator's picture

clay is a beast and i WILL say he is wound up tight lol

HankScorpio's picture

I'm looking forward to seeing what Matthews can do with Peppers on the field at the same time.

And vice versa.

The TKstinator's picture

And versa vice.

L's picture

I'm still thinking there'll be a 3rd Down 3-3-5 defensive sub-package that'll feature Clay Matthews playing the lone inside backer position with M.Neal and N.Perry playing the outside backer positions with M.Daniels, D.Jones, and J.Peppers playing down on the line; now, that's a lot of pass rushing potential on the field all at once. Pair that with T.Williams and S.Shields manning the outside corner positions with C.Heyward playing in the slot while M.Hyde and M.Burnett handle the safety positions and I think you have yourself probably the Packs best playmakers on the field all at once.

Stroh's picture

One problem. Out of all the guys you mentioned only one of them has the ability to play coverage... Matthews. So using that alignment also takes your best pass rusher completely out of pass rush.

It might work as a defense on a limited basis, maybe a couple times a game, but you can't line up in that formation w/ those players consistently. Just off the top of my head Slants would wear that formation out.

L's picture

Not trying to be critical here, but I did say "...a 3rd Down 3-3-5 defensive sub-package..." which I thought would have come across as meaning it wouldn't be a core package; if not, allow me to clarify that it would be used occasionally as a pass rushing specific package for a specific down (in this case - 3rd Down) and distance or distances (likely 7 or 8 yards or maybe more).

On another hand perhaps the development of M.Neal and N.Perry's ability to cover in the flats or streak with a Tight End down the seam shows some promise this coming year and with some package twists there could be some really interesting blitz trickery added to this sub-package. Perhaps a D-line drops back into some kind of zone coverage which allows C.Matthews to blitz from different interior gaps depending on how the others are being block - granted that likely re-introduces having a poor coverage guy replace C.Matthews' ability to cover in that same space, but per the package it's 3rd Down and some distance to go so I'd like to think it may be worth the gamble knowing that you're sending a bunch of pretty talented pass rushers at the opposing team's QB and you have a pretty sure tackler like M.Hyde looking to come up and make a tackle on someone before they reach the 1st down marker were one of the front six guys beat in short coverage over the middle and the pass rusher's weren't quick enough to disrupt the play.

Stroh's picture

I did see you said 3rd down, but that happens probably 15-20 plays a game. I can't see using it anywhere near that often. Maybe a couple times a game. But I think the deficiencies are too obvious and OC's and QB's would exploit it pretty easily.

I'm in favor of getting Matthews versatility involved more. Myself and RCPackfan have discussed it quite a bit. Especially if they don't get an upgrade at ILB it would make a lot of sense to move Matthews around occasionally and some snaps at ILB makes sense.

Dropping a DL occasionally is kinda where Capers zone blitz originates. Blitz more LB's and dropping a DL into the area a slant would run (BJ Raji INT for a TD vs Chi in the playoffs) is something you can do some, but good or great QB's might read it too easily and be able to beat it.

Zoellner25's picture

I think CM3 should play the rest of his career with some kind of wrist/thumb brace or bowling glove or something to protect that thing a bit. If its not his hammy, it's going to be that thumb.

Roger Over's picture

1. I'd like to see him stay healthy for one seaon at least or it may be bust city label from me.
2. I'd like to see the guys who stand around and let him to all the work: Perry, Dante J, Worthy.
I call them the three 'bustkateers'. Its break our or get out year for them.
3.Peppers doesn't add enough for me compared to what the Lions, and Vikes and Bears did to improve in the off season.

Evan's picture

When do the Lions, Vikes and Bears "Off-Season Championship" shirts and hats arrive in stores?

Of course, the Lions are defending champs.

4thand1's picture

These poor people and their bust theories. I'll feel honored to be in the presences of the bust label guru. Look out Mel Kiper.

COW's picture

It may be time to find Clay's replacement.
He's a very "handsy" player.
This is going to affect his game in a major way.
This will not be the last time we talk about "the thumb".

Attaochu
Van Noy
Lee
Lawrence
Reilly

Get one.

Mark my words...

Perry's foot
Hayward's hammy
Clay's thumb
Neal's body
Lacy's toe

...More than one of these will become an issue this upcoming season.

4thand1's picture

You dumb dick, you can make that prediction with any team.

The TKstinator's picture

Exactly!
Here's another one:
Some of Seattle's and San Fran's guys are going to get hurt this year too.

Stroh's picture

No way SF or Sea would ever have an injury. Just ask CowPie... It's NOT allowed in SF or Sea. LMFAO

4thand1's picture

Attaochu
Von Noy
Lee
Lawernce
Rielly
Are all indestructible and are really supermen posing as college football players. Masterful disguises.

COW's picture

Oh - and Jordy's knee.

Don't say I didn't warn ya!

The TKstinator's picture

Nostradamus strikes again!

COW's picture

lee?
i meant ford.

The TKstinator's picture

And I meant chevy.

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