SportsPulse: NFL insider Mike Jones breaks down the new national anthem policy and how owners, fans and players are reacting to it.
USA TODAY Sports
GRAND CHUTE, Wisc. — Linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a broken nose after he was hit in the face with a line drive Saturday during a Green Bay Packers charity softball game.
Matthews was pitching in the third inning at Fox Cities Stadium when offensive lineman Lucas Patrick smacked the ball directly back into the Pro Bowl outside linebacker’s face. The force of contact knocked Matthews to the ground, and the ball ricocheted toward the foul line between third base and home plate. Matthews quickly stood up and, glove over his face, immediately walked toward the dugout while Patrick checked on him midway.
Later, Matthews provided an update via Twitter: “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.”
Matthews was one of two captains for the game, joining receiver Davante Adams. The game resumed about 30 minutes after Matthews departed, but Adams pitched behind a batting practice screen.
Without their captain, Team Clay rallied to win 10-9.
More: Chiefs QB turned down endorsements because he wasn’t playing
More: Calvin Johnson was unsure how to tell Lions about retirement
More: Manziel’s CFL debut a positive step in football comeback
After the game, Adams spoke about the moment Matthews got hit.
“It was scary,” Adams said. “I could hear a little crack. I didn’t know if it was glasses or 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 didn’t feel good.”
Adams didn’t know much more other than that Matthews had been hit in the nose and was in pain. Adams gave Matthews credit for getting to his feet so quickly and walking off the field.
“Tough guy, because I would’ve still been on the ground right now,” he said. “We’re just going to pray for him and hope that he feels better soon.”
The Packers are in the midst of their organized team activity period. Matthews has not participated in OTAs because of a knee injury. After the Packers went almost the entire draft without selecting an edge rusher, Matthews’ health is critical to the Packers’ success this season.