Clay Matthews Misses Playing Time, Richard Sherman Does Not: "You've Got to Tear my Arm Off"

The Seahawks star cornerback spoke about what it would take to get him out of a game.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman—Peter Casey, USA TODAY Sports.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman—Peter Casey, USA TODAY Sports.

PHOENIX—Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews could only offer a vague explanation in the immediate aftermath of the NFC Championship loss to the Seattle Seahawks for why he missed a chunk of playing time at the end of regulation.

"Yeah, it was a medley of things just catching up to me," Matthews told ESPN.com. "Fortunately, I worked with the trainers a little bit during that last drive and was able to get back out there for overtime."

Neither Matthews nor any representative for the Packers has yet offered a more specific explanation.

Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman, meanwhile, played through an elbow injury in the same game.

On Wednesday, with the Seahawks four days away from the Super Bowl, Sherman met with the media. He wouldn't speculate about Matthews' injury, but he did speak to what it would take to get him out of a game.

"I don't know what went on with him and his injury," said Sherman. "I can't speak about what it says on him, honestly. He's a great player and a great competitor, so I'm sure if he was able to go out there, he would have. And on my side, I just played. I'm a guy, you got to tear my arm off if you want to get me off there. If I can physically walk and do my job, I'm going to go out there and play."

UPDATE 5:08 p.m. CT:

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy offered a few more details on Matthews in his season-ending press conference on Wednesday, debunking any theories that he may have had a concussion, but still had little to add on why Matthews couldn't return to the game until overtime.

"I know he was being looked at there at the end, his knee," said McCarthy. "He did have a couple collisions. Maybe we're talking about the same play, because I know I saw it and actually walked towards him because Jordy (Nelson) had waved to me. And he just said he needed a minute. Looking at him in the eye and everything, I didn't see any reason for concern there.

"But as far as the doctors, especially being the play-caller, I don't get every play-by-play of when every guy was looked at during the course of a game. I really don't even get that until after, like a home game, until I go back through the training room and they have a list and we through each guy he's seen. Just the way we're structured, unless it impacts the game as far as a player injury, I'm not really notified."

 

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Comments (36)

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Evan's picture

January 28, 2015 at 01:08 pm

It didn't look good, no doubt, but a CB playing with a bad elbow is quite different than an OLB playing with a bad leg/hamstring/whatever it was.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 28, 2015 at 02:11 pm

And, Wilde has speculated that Mathews possibly could have suffered a concussion, and he didn't want the trainers to be aware of that. If they were he wouldn't have returned to the game.

That would make a lot of sense.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 28, 2015 at 02:19 pm

It would...

The idea of Matthews shirking his responsibilities has me dubious.

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Horse's picture

January 28, 2015 at 02:38 pm

No kidding. He was playing terrorball all game.

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murphy's picture

January 28, 2015 at 03:37 pm

McCarthy: "I know he was being looked at there late at the end, I know his knee. He had a couple collisions there at the end. I talked to Clay, he said he needed a minute. Looking him in the eye, I didn't see a reason for concern."

As Clay looked both of him in the eye.

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Evan's picture

January 28, 2015 at 03:40 pm

To be fair, with McCarthy, it's hard to know which eye to look into.

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Allan Murphy's picture

January 28, 2015 at 03:18 pm

What ever is ya next year for a shut out this time ........

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 28, 2015 at 04:05 pm

Possible concussion???? Possible knee issue????

Whatever the possible's may be,one thing is for certain....none of the possibles were of any significant level to keep him from the useless Pro Bowl game and chancing injuring worse whatever the mysterious possible was/is that kept him out of the game when all hands needed to be on deck.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 05:54 am

I'm with you, Tarynfor12. The contrast between Sherman and Matthews is clear. And the picture it paints is not very flattering to Matthews. It was made worse by the fact it brought AJ Hawk on to the field...and Hawk is all done as an NFL caliber player.

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Horse's picture

January 29, 2015 at 06:14 am

You can play CB with one good arm. You can't play LB on one good leg. Apples, oranges, spoiled fans who don't think.

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Horse's picture

January 29, 2015 at 06:18 am

They thought the game was in the bag. Coaches are thinking Why risk further injury with a Super Bowl coming up. But no, it's because Clay is a pussy and Richard Sherman is Superman and Mr. Wonderful combined. Grow up and think.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 07:40 am

Horse,

"Pussy" is your word. I did not see anybody else use it. As is "Superman" and "Mr. Wonderful". But you sure stomped the crap out of that strawman. Nicely done.

BTW...According to McCarthy, Matthews kept himself on the sidelines. It was not caution on the part of the coaching or training staff. The exact quote from McCarthy was "And he just said he needed a minute." Not, "he said he was ready to go as soon as has was allowed". I cannot fathom that McCarthy would misrepresent that conversation to point the finger at Matthews if that was not an accurate representation of what was said.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 29, 2015 at 08:55 am

"And he just said he needed a minute."

Super Bowl...Pro Bowl...Super Bowl....Pro Bowl

Unable to finish for one but ready to go for the other.

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murphy's picture

January 29, 2015 at 09:13 am

"Unable to finish for one but ready to go for the other."

You must have turned the game off before OT?

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 29, 2015 at 09:37 am

"You must have turned the game off before OT?"

No I didn't...but it lasted just as long as it takes the TV to shut off....blink of an eye.

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murphy's picture

January 29, 2015 at 09:11 am

"The contrast between Sherman and Matthews is clear. And the picture it paints is not very flattering to Matthews."

You use friendly phrases like "the contrast between" and "not very flattering", but it doesn't take much effort to infer what you are insinuating based on the context of the article and the post that you were replying to.

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4thand1's picture

January 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

The only thing is his knee looked just great in the pro-bowl. I think he avoided the trainers because of the new concussion protocol. Teams have no choice but to bench a player. Never seen any evidence of con though. This whole f-ing thing stinks to high heaven.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 29, 2015 at 10:46 am

Even if he was avoiding the trainers because of concussion protocol because he thought he may fail it...all the more reason why he shouldn't have played in the Pro Bowl....should be protecting his head from further complications than shaking it a la Fabio for a useless game of no benefit to the Packers.

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murphy's picture

January 29, 2015 at 01:14 pm

The team should probably just mandate that all players enshroud themselves in bubble wrap for the entirety of the off season.

Sheesh.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 02:28 pm

Jason Wilde is on the concussion trail too.

Here is my question about that (if true): Isn't the best place to dodge the trainers and thus the concussion protocol on the field? Why sit on the sidelines and give them both reason and opportunity to evaluate him?

I just want to know why Matthews sat out such a crucial sequence. Cryptic language and half-answers will only lead to speculation that can do nothing but make Matthews look bad. As it stands now, I'm sure some Packer fans will never forgive him no matter what. I'm not one of those people. But I can't simply overlook it, either.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 29, 2015 at 02:47 pm

Agreed.

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Evan's picture

January 29, 2015 at 03:48 pm

Because maybe if he did in fact have a concussion he wasn't thinking 100% clearly?

I think trying to apply logic and sound reasoning to a guy we suspect might have suffered a concussion is a bit silly.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 06:00 pm

So you're saying that a guy thinking clearly enough to understand the NFL concussion protocol is an automatic benching he doesn't want. and thus he needs to avoid trainers, can sort of lose rational thought after those first 2 rational conclusions?

And it's "silly" to think that might not make much sense.

I reckon I'm just silly like that then.

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Evan's picture

January 30, 2015 at 08:13 am

You ever have a concussion?

Yes, it doesn't make sense at all. That's sort of a primary symptom.

When I got a concussion a few months back there was no rhyme or reason to things I did/thought/remembered.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 30, 2015 at 09:20 am

Yes, I have had a concussion. So what?

It didn't make me an authority on them.

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Evan's picture

January 30, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Not an authority, no, but it does surprise me that you're looking at it so black and white.

"Well, he made two rationale decisions...so he must have been fine."

When I got mine, I woke up in the hospital. I knew I had been playing football, but I had no idea what happened. I remembered my wife, but didn't know she was pregnant. I didn't know what day it was, but I was answering work emails on my phone as if nothing was wrong.

As I said, I just think it's silly to try and dissect the behavior of someone who we're suspecting of having a concussion. There is no logic to such behavior.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 31, 2015 at 07:07 am

"Well, he made two rationale decisions...so he must have been fine."
=========================================

That's not exactly my position but the way you attempt to paraphrase my point certainly serves the purpose of making my point of view look weak. Let's review the actual situation while letting me speak for myself, shall we?

You left out the part where he was not diagnosed with a concussion despite a medical staff trained in diagnosing a concussion having plenty of access to him for up to a day after the game. Not to mention that the trained staff is under instructions to err on the side of caution with concussions. That is by far the #1 indicator he didn't have one and sort of changes the dynamic behind "he must have been fine".

In short, "we" are not suspecting him of having a concussion. You are. I was attempting to demonstrate your theory makes no sense. It hinges on the symptoms being so mild a trained and watchful staff failed to diagnose the concussion you and Jason Wilde believe he suffered through the prism of TV and the distance of the press box respectively. And that, despite no diagnosis and demonstrable lucid behavior and that he played a few minutes later, that crucial unexplained absence was explained by him hiding from the medical staff while standing right in front of them. That seems like just a bit too fanciful and convenient of a tale for me to swallow.

I don't want to think Matthews got a little ouchy in his knee that turned out to be nothing and sat out while the defense went to shit either. I'm just not willing to suspend rational thought to avoid that conclusion. It seems like the most logical one based on the known facts. Which is why I was wanting to see something that pointed in another direction.

McCarthy and many beat reporters said the staff was looking at his knee. Some reporters said he looked like he was trying to loosen up his knee. No knee injury was reported. He played a few minutes later and then in the Pro Bowl. But he wasn't there when they needed him at the end of regulation. These are all facts, not speculation.

We certainly agree that this exchange has got silly elements to it, although I suspect we might differ on just where that silliness comes in to play. So I'm done with the silliness. I think my point has been made to the best of my ability to make it.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 30, 2015 at 09:47 am

I still remember a few years ago... Favre got hit hard, had to be taken out of the game. He was on the sidelines for 1-2 plays, and then ran back out onto the field, pulling out the backup QB. Throws a TD, then is out the rest of the game. Later after the game he was asked about it and he couldn't remember what happened. He had no recognition of the play at all..

We have heard players saying they are trying to dumb themselves down so that if they get a concussion they will be able to pass the test on the sidelines.

We don't know what happened with Mathews. It seems like he probably at least suffered a minor concussion. When I heard Nelson called over McCarthy to look at him, to me that says something happened.

I do believe he suffered at least a minor one, maybe not knocking him out so he didn't know where he was, but one where he knew something wasn't right.
The other thought I had is he probably felt like he better not go back in because they were up 19-7 at the time and thought they had it won.

I don't think we will ever hear if he had one or not, because honestly, at this point it would probably get people in trouble if he said so.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 29, 2015 at 07:15 pm

"I just want to know why Matthews sat out such a crucial sequence. Cryptic language and half-answers will only lead to speculation that can do nothing but make Matthews look bad."

I think Hank is spot on here, this is what I was agreeing with. If it was concussion protocol, fine. I just don't understand why Mike can't say that to put it to rest.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 29, 2015 at 04:54 pm

Maybe CMIII wanted to be on the sidelines because his bell was rung and when it stopped ringing and he was more confident that he could recognize and fulfill his assignments, he went back into the game.

This is a big to-do about nothing.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 05:56 pm

I disagree it is a "big to-do about nothing"?

To paraphrase out Veep, this was a big effing deal

This was about deciding if the Packers get to play in the Super Bowl against a team they beat in the regular season. That's the opposite of "nothing". And its worthy of an explanation why the Packers best defender sat on the sidelines as they collapsed.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 29, 2015 at 06:41 pm

I don't mean to be one of those people who has to get the last word in, so please don't take this that way. I just don't think there is any evidence that CMIII doesn't want to be on the field in big moments, or that he is not willing to play through pain. So I give CMIII the player the benefit of the doubt. I do think he might have had his bell rung, or that he tweaked something and he or the coaches thought the game was won and did not want him to exacerbate anything, which in my opinion would be a more damning explanation of his absence.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that MM should have provided an explanation, so my writing that this is a big to-do about nothing was needlessly provocative. MM has an annoying habit of not having or at least not providing answers to questions he must know will be asked.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 30, 2015 at 07:45 am

I'll never understand WHY MM didn't go after Sherman. F the injury to Matthews, if McCarthy had a set in the first place Matthews could have been sitting on the sideline regardless of what was happening. Not once did McCarthy run or pass towards Sherman after the elbow injury. Hmmmm lets see, let me run my 230 pound RB at Sherman and see if he's playing possum.

He's a thought, put some OTHER players around Matthews so the defense doesn't take such a nosedive the second he's off the field. Peppers was awesome, so was Daniels but have you ever saw a team depend SO MUCH on one player.

Now instead of watching the NFL feature the best organization in the NFL for 2 weeks, I get to hear how great of team Seattle is after we kicked their butts for 58 minutes.

WHY is SLOCUM NOT FIRED YET!!!!

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HankScorpio's picture

January 30, 2015 at 08:08 am

I hope the answer to why Slocum is not fired yet is that the tragic death of McCarthy's brother has delayed the review process.

Also, they did throw at Richard Sherman on the drive to tie the game back up at the end of regulation. They did not "pick" on Sherman, as the situation may have dictated. But they did throw at him. Sherman did still have one good arm and two good legs. So the way to exploit the injury would have been on a corner route by making Sherman reeach across his body with his good arm. However, that corner route was thrown early in the game and the result was a pick.

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4thand1's picture

January 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

You can read between the lines in MM's PC. I think Slocum's fate is sealed. It may not happen right away, but it will happen.

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pooch's picture

January 31, 2015 at 09:52 am

Ray Nitchski (66) to Vince in Ice Bowl ,Vince iam tired need a breather cant play this drive,maybe next drive I catch my breath.Playing football from peewee to Div 3 college it was all about 4 quarter conditioning,it was driven in our mindset,that is why you do wind sprints and up/downs at the end of practice when it was 90 degrees out in August...Players are too soft,Iam sure they don't practice that way anymore,do current Packers know what Lombardis nut cracker drill was?

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