CLAY MATTHEWS has authored a few lethal hits over the years. Just ask former Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, whose career-ending concussion problems began when Matthews bounced Kolb's head off the Linc turf in the 2010 season opener.
Monday night, on the same field, Matthews found himself on the receiving end of a blindside blast, and he didn't like it.
"I wasn't a fan of it," Matthews told reporters in Green Bay, when asked about the hit from former Packers teammate Allen Barbre. "I mean, I've got a lot more to say about it, but I'm going to say it behind closed doors. It was a cheap shot, but it is what it is. I ate it. Unfortunately, I landed on my shoulder, and that's kind of what I've been dealing with since."
Matthews, who just moved from outside to inside linebacker because of a Packers injury crisis, separated his left AC joint and had to take a painkilling injection to return to the game, he said. His status for this week's Packers game against the Texans is unclear.
Barbre, usually the Eagles' left guard but playing right tackle Monday after the MCL injury suffered by Halapoulivaati Vaitai, was out in front of an end-around by Bryce Treggs that gained 3 yards and a first down.
Barbre blocked a safety, he said, then looked back toward the middle, where Matthews seemed to have an angle on Treggs. Matthews never saw Barbre coming, and was launched into the South Philly evening.
"I just happened to see Clay coming free. I just had to try to make a play," Barbre said. He was not penalized.
Barbre and Matthews were teammates Matthews' rookie year, 2009, and "we got along," but weren't especially close, Barbre said. He said they did not speak after Monday's game, a 27-13 Green Bay victory - "I didn't run into him."
(Didn't "run into" him? Coincidental wording, or is Al really that sharp a quipster?)
Later Wednesday, after Matthews' complaint surfaced, the Wilmington News-Journal asked Barbre about it.
"Everyone's got their own opinion," Barbre said. "If I didn't block him, then maybe he would've made the tackle. I'm here to try to help us win, so I don't really value his opinion. I just want to win . . . I'm glad we got the first down."
Overall, Barbre thought his play at right tackle, where he last played a regular-season game in the 2014 opener, was "decent," he said. "I had a few plays I wish I could have back. For the most part, I think I did all right."
Barbre found out Monday morning he might be playing next to rookie Isaac Seumalo, making his first NFL start, because regular right guard Brandon Brooks was ill. He said he and Seumalo went over a few things in warmup. Seumalo has practiced mostly at left guard and center.
"I think he did a good job," Barbre said. "He's a good athlete."
Brooks said he awoke Monday around 5 a.m. violently ill, and threw up several times before being hospitalized. He practiced Wednesday and should return to the lineup this week at Cincinnati.
"Got a bunch of IVs, things of that nature," he said. "Just a stomach flu that was going around."
Brooks said he watched the game in the hospital. Did that make him even sicker?
"Yes, it did," he said. "Obviously, you want to be out there with your teammates, but unfortunately, I was stuck to a hospital bed."
He said he began feeling better late Monday night, but is sticking with bland foods, just to be safe.
"I thought he did well," Brooks said, when asked about Seumalo. "I didn't sit down and watch the tape on my iPad, but I watched on TV. I thought he made some plays."
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Stefen Wisniewski will continue to fill Barbre's spot at left guard; Vaitai would seem to still be a few weeks away from returning.
Running back Ryan Mathews (MCL) did not practice Wednesday. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews (ankle) also didn't practice but is expected to play in Cincinnati . . . Carson Wentz said the biggest lesson he has learned from his eight interceptions is that "you've just got to be precise. Small misses in this league lead to turnovers." . . . This is the week NFL players can wear custom cleats for good causes. Some Eagles are wearing cleats emblazoned with Wentz's motto, "Audience of One" and a Bible verse, Romans 5:8. They plan to auction them off and give the money to charity, but Wentz said they haven't settled on a recipient.