GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews had just returned to the locker room after smiling for the annual team picture – while keeping the black cast on his right hand behind his back – and wanted to change into something more comfortable.
There was just one problem: The Green Bay Packers four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker couldn’t get his snug-fitting No. 52 game jersey off with only one functioning hand.
“Yeah, there are a lot of things that I did with my right hand that I now have to do with my left hand,” Matthews said when he returned, pausing and smirking. “I’ll leave it up to the imagination.”
When the sophomoric reporters surrounding him stopped giggling, Matthews added, “You guys are disgusting.”
While Matthews confirmed that he will have the pins removed from his broken right thumb on Monday, he also confirmed that he’ll be wearing a club cast when he does return to the field – which he is hoping happens on Nov. 10 against Philadelphia.
“At this position, it’s difficult with one hand,” Matthews said. “I’ll deal with that when I’m able to club it up and come back. But for the time being we’re praying for the best and hoping my body heals up on time and get back out there and help this team out.”
Other Packers players have played with club casts to protect broken hands, thumbs or wrists over the years, including defensive end Cullen Jenkins and linebacker Brandon Chillar in 2010, safety Morgan Burnett in 2011 and offensive linemen Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera in the early 2000s.
“(The issue is) the size of it, how much it limits him,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “Obviously you’d like to use your hands because you’re grabbing cloth and jerking and pulling. So it affects a lot of the moves you make and that type of thing.
“We’ve had Cullen play with it up front and he still was quick and could make his moves and I think Clay would be able to do the same thing. You know, Morgan played in the secondary with it. So we’ll kind of have to wait and see what they say and hope for the best. And when we get him back, we’ll see what we can do.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.