This isn’t going to make NFL teams any more comfortable when their players participate in other sports no matter how much fun they’re having or how worthy the cause they may be supporting.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, pitching in the team’s annual softball game, took a line drive to the face Saturday afternoon on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ field in Appleton, Wis. The sound was frightening and so was the sight as Matthews immediately went to the ground, then quickly left the field with his glove covering his face.
Matthews headed straight for a hospital and later tweeted, “I busted my nose pretty good and will have surgery once the swelling subsides.”
Coach Mike McCarthy, who said that procedure is likely to occur midweek, joked Monday that Matthews “needs to work on his off-hand, mitt-side. That’s what the tape showed me.”
The mood was light Monday, but on Saturday Matthews acknowledged that the injury, suffered on the drive by offensive lineman Lucas Patrick, “could have been much more serious,” as video clearly showed.
Matthews and Davante Adams were each coaching a side, with Adams taking over the game formerly organized by Jordy Nelson, who now is with the Raiders. The game continued after Matthews’s departure, with a batting practice pitcher’s net placed between the mound and the batter’s box.
“It was scary,” Adams said (via the Wisconsin State Journal). “You hear a little crack, and I didn’t know what it was. You never want to watch something like that unfold. He didn’t seem like he was doing too bad, but I know it definitely didn’t feel good.
“ … I know he was in a lot of pain and he was leaking [blood] a little bit. But a tough guy, because I would have still been on that ground right now. But we’re just going to pray for him and hope he feels better soon.”
Matthews, who had minor knee surgery this offseason, has not been participating in organized team activities, which resume Monday. The softball game, won by Matthews’s team on a walk-off home run by tight end Robert Tonyan, has been a Packers fixture since 1994 and benefits young Life, an organization that pairs adults with kids in need of guidance.
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