Packers OLB Clay Matthews finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 after registering 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks and two forced fumbles; he added 3.5 sacks in the Packers four-game postseason run. On Tuesday, Matthews admitted that he did much of it while playing with a broken leg.
In an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Matthews said he had a stress fracture in his lower leg for much of the season, but he chose not to make the information public. According to the newspaper, Matthews was listed on the Packers' injury report every week from Week Nine through the NFC championship game, always as probable with a shin injury. His name did not appear on the injury report leading up to Super Bowl XLV.
I don't make a big deal of it," Matthews told the Press-Gazette. "(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 said he rehabbed this offseason in Southern California, hoping to regain strength so he can stay healthy this season.
"This offseason, I put an emphasis on really coming in here in great cardio shape and making sure I had done everything that I possibly could to say, 'Hey, this is how we're going to prevent injuries,'" Matthews said. "That's the nature of the beast. You're going to get injured in this game, but I feel good. I feel good about where I'm at headed into my third year and feel like I can definitely outdo what I've put on paper and on film the last two years."
The way we see it
What Matthews did last season was most impressive — even if he had been completely healthy. Now that he has made it public how serious the leg injury was, the accomplishments seem even greater.
The Packers, however, may not be so happy to hear this news. If it is determined the team trainers knew how serious Matthews' leg problems were and still listed him on the injury report as probable with a shin injury, there is a chance the league could penalize the team for falsifying the information on the report.