Aaron Nagler and Pete Dougherty give a few thoughts after the first training camp practice. Packers News
GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews said his surgically repaired nose feels good, but he expects to wear a visor with his facemask for protection throughout the coming season.
While Matthews practiced without limitations Thursday during the Green Bay Packers' opening day of training camp, the veteran outside linebacker said he’ll need to continue protecting his nose for the next several months.
Matthews had rhinoplasty in late spring after he took a line drive to the face while pitching to guard Lucas Patrick in a charity softball game.
“It feels good, though,” Matthews said. “I really don’t have any limitations.”
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Matthews, who has also healed from a knee injury that limited him this spring, is the lone veteran outside linebacker available at practice. Fellow veteran Nick Perry started training camp on the physically unable to perform list because of an ankle injury.
In speaking with his teammate, Matthews said it sounds like Perry will be ready for the regular season. Coach Mike McCarthy relayed the same expectation Thursday morning. Given the Packers' thin depth chart, Perry presence alongside Matthews is vital for the defense.
“Obviously, the way in which he’s played these past several years – especially when he’s healthy – he’s a premier player,” Matthews said. “So if we can get him back healthy in time for Week 1, it’d mean a great deal to have another pass rusher who can legitimately be a threat and get after the quarterback.”
While Perry awaits his return to the practice field, Matthews knows he’s fortunate to be back so soon after taking a scary line drive to his face.
“I didn’t have time to process it,” Matthews said. “Yeah, I guess in hindsight, it could’ve been a lot worse. But, fortunately, I’m really tough. So I ate it, walked off the field so as to not create mass hysteria, and proceeded to go through the route of surgery and all that fun stuff.”
Matthews added, smiling: “Two weeks I’ll never get back thanks to Lucas Patrick over there.”