Clay Matthews is on the long road to recovery after breaking his jaw last week during the Los Angeles Rams’ game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Rams head coach Sean McVay told NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk on Monday that the linebacker, who signed a two-year contract with the LA team in March, has had his jaw wired shut and will take four to six weeks to recover (McVay, 33, said on Friday that Matthews would undergo surgery for his injury).
“I think he’s feeling good,” McVay said Monday, before adding that it’s not “an ideal situation.”
“It was kind of a freak accident,” he said of the injury, which Matthews, 33, sustained when he attempted to tackle Seattle running back Chris Carson in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s close game, which the Seahawks won 30-29.
McVay previously said that they think Carson, 25, accidentally kicked Matthews in the face during the play, Pro Football Talk previously reported.
“He’ll be out for at least the next four to six weeks,” McVay continued. “It’s going to be something where you just kind of monitor that diet. Really, it’s going to be a challenge any time that you have that.”
Although it will be difficult, Matthews’ coach has faith in his player.
“He’ll do all the right things to put himself in a position to hopefully get back as soon as we’re able to take that thing off and then he’s able to fully function,” McVay added.
Samson Ebukam, the linebacker who will be playing in Matthews’ stead while he heals, said that he’s “going to do my best to keep the seat warm for him, though, because I know what kind of an impact player that he is,” according to the Rams’ official website.
“Definitely try to do my best just to live up to his reputation,” Ebukam, 24, added.
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Of being Matthews’ backup, Ebukam said, “You just got to take it like it is.”
“That’s a future Hall of Famer that they put in front of you, so I’m not going to sit here and question it because he’s been eating on the field. I just want to do that whenever I get the chance.”
Next man up with @ClayMatthews52 out.
“I’m going to do my best to keep the seat warm for him.” – @samysosa_3
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) October 9, 2019
Ebukam started in 14 games for the Rams last season and played in all 16. McVay has said the player is “a guy that we have a lot of confidence in.”
“Knowing that Clay’s down and that my role is going to expand, I just leave everything up to God, man, you know?” Ebukam said. “I’m just going to go out there, have fun and play like I always play, and everything will work out in the end I believe.”