GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews filtered his true feelings as much as he could, but the Green Bay Packers linebacker still was upset less than 48 hours after receiving perhaps the most vicious block in his career.
The team’s medical staff evaluated Matthews’ left shoulder not once, but twice on the sideline after Philadelphia Eagles left guard Allen Barbre laid him out with a blindside block Monday night. Matthews also briefly visited the locker room, where he said he received a pain-killing shot before returning to the game.
“I wasn’t a fan of it,” Matthews said of Barbre’s block. “I've a lot more to say about it, but I’m going to say it behind closed doors. I mean, it was a cheap shot. It is what it is. I ate it. Unfortunately, I landed on my shoulder, and that’s kind of what I’ve been dealing with since.”
It wasn’t the first time a questionable block has injured Matthews. In 2014, he blamed Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate’s cut block for an injured groin. Matthews didn’t miss any games with the injury.
Barbre was not penalized Monday, and it’s too early in the week to know whether he might be fined. Matthews was asked whether he believed the hit was a legal play.
“I don’t know,” Matthews said. “They didn’t throw a flag, probably because I wasn’t a quarterback. I know all about that.”
Barbre told Philadelphia reporters Wednesday he was glad Matthews wasn’t injured. He said a “cheap shot” wasn’t the intent behind his block, and that he wasn’t even assigned to block Matthews on the play.
“It is what it is,” Barbre said. “Everybody’s got their own opinion, but if I didn’t block him then maybe he would have made the tackle. I’m here to help us win. I don’t really value his opinion on that.
“I just took an opportunity to make the play better.”
Coach Mike McCarthy said he expects his Pro Bowl linebacker to play Sunday against the Houston Texans, but that might not mean much. Matthews has looked likely to play on more than one occasion in midweek this season, only to be inactive come game day.
Matthews said Barbre’s block injured the AC joint in his shoulder. The painkilling shot helped him grit through the rest of Monday’s game, but his shoulder remained bothersome Wednesday.
“I’m in some pain,” Matthews said, “no doubt about it. Some swelling, bruising. But we got an X-ray and nothing is broken, that’s good. So we’ll see moving forward as far as progress I’m make going into this game. It’s ultimately the goal, but we have some work to do.”
email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood