Packers’ outside linebacker Clay Matthews played the second half of the season with a stress fracture in his lower leg. The injury could explain why Matthews was listed on every injury report from Week 9 through the NFC championship game as probable with a shin injury. He wasn’t listed on the injury report prior to Super Bowl XLV.
“I don’t make a big deal of it,” Matthews said on Tuesday. “(It happened) some time in the middle of the season. You can’t do anything about it. I was just taking practices off and showing up on game day and giving it my all.”
Matthews brought up the injury only because he was asked about how the loss of defensive end Cullen Jenkins, the Packers’ best pass rusher on the defensive line who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, would impact him. In the 15 games, including postseason, that Jenkins played last season, Matthews had 14 sacks. In the five games Jenkins missed because of injury, Matthews totaled just three sacks.
“I also had a stress fracture in four of those games,” Matthews said. “But nobody knows that. I had a stress fracture in my leg. A sore shin as you guys call it, but that’s all right. Obviously, I’m not making excuses. Cullen is a terrific athlete, and we’re definitely going to take a hit in our defensive line, but at the same time I think they have confidence in the guys coming up.”