The 2018 football season hasn’t kicked off yet, but Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is already on the injured list.
The star athlete took a line drive to the face during an annual softball charity game and reportedly broke his nose from the impact. The game took place in Appleton, Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a minor league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, hold their seasonal play. The Packers put on the game every year and it’s usually attended by some famous faces. Brett Favre and Donald Driver have hosted the game in the past, but this year, Matthews and Packers receiver Davante Adams co-hosted the event.
According to ESPN, Matthews was pitching when the accident occurred. A hit ricocheted back to the pitching mound and clocked Matthews in the nose. Play was suspended for 30 minutes while medical professionals attended to Matthews, who walked off the field after the incident, but didn’t return to play. Adams told the crowd the linebacker had “got a little boo-boo on his nose,” and asked for prayers as his teammate was getting checked out. Later, Matthews jumped on Twitter to update fans on his condition, admitting he’d broken his nose during the game and would need surgery.
Thank you for all the concern and well-wishes. I busted my nose pretty good and will have surgery once the swelling subsides. Thankful as it could have been much more serious ????????????????????????— Clay Matthews III (@ClayMatthews52) June 2, 2018
Video of the incident was captured by a local news station and shared on social media as well.
Tune in to @WBAY in 10 minutes for full video and a health update on #Packers LB @ClayMatthews52, who was hit in the face with a line drive at the team's charity softball game today pic.twitter.com/HJ51ondLFm— Dave Schroeder (@SchroederWBAY) June 2, 2018
Matthews is a six-time Pro Bowler and a star member of the Packers’ defense. The team recently hired a new defensive coordinator and early practices have proved to be a bit different for Matthews and his defensive crew. The linebacker has mentioned the team’s turnover rate and a certain unpredictability with their new lineup. The team has welcomed a handful of rookies that have brought a renewed energy to the game, and Matthews has been adamant that this upcoming season might be their best shot at returning to the Super Bowl.
With just a few practices in, Matthews will have to take some time off from tackling on the field to tackle recovering from this latest injury. Though a broken nose isn’t too serious, the athlete was rushed to the E.R. following the accident and any surgery he’ll require will also come with some downtime to heal and recuperate.
Fortunately for Matthews and the Green Bay Packers, there are still three-and-a-half months in the offseason for NFL teams to perfect their strategies and prepare for the upcoming season of play.