Maybe the Sabres medical team should take a look at new Bills receiver Jordan Matthews.
One of the doctors treating Matthews told him the chipped sternum injury is something the doctor has only seen in hockey when a player was hit by a stick right in that spot.
“It was definitely a unique injury,” Matthews said.
In his first meeting with Buffalo media Sunday, Matthews said he is “confident” he’ll be ready to play once the regular season begins. He’s viewing this rare piece of bad luck as a positive.
“I’m a person who believes that all these type of things happen for a reason,” he said. “It must have been because I needed more time to get acclimated to the playbook, get to know the guys. Even though it was unfortunate, it really gave me a chance to get into my playbook and learn the Buffalo environment a little bit.”
Matthews said he was excited to run around a little bit at practice Sunday, even if severely limited.
A knee injury kept Matthews out a couple weeks late in the preseason last year and he was still ready to go for the start of the regular season.
He knows “how to take the mental reps, how to stay in shape and stay on top of the playbook”.
This year won’t be as easy. He had been in Philadelphia two seasons before he was hurt last year. He hasn’t even yet been with the Bills two weeks.
“I want to go out there and prove myself to my teammates,” Matthews said. “I want them to know that I’m tough. I want them to know that I’m not the type of guy that wants to miss practice and I’m just going to be there for games.”
Matthews is taking his time acclimating into the Bills locker room and getting to know everybody. He understands his addition also came with a big subtraction.
“I already know how much Sammy (Watkins) meant to this team,” Matthews said. “I don’t want to come in here and act like there’s no sensitivity to him not being here anymore.
“When I come into a new environment, I try not to talk too much. I don’t care whether you’re a rookie, whether you’re going into your fourth year, whether you have production or you don’t. You’re in a new place, people do things different, you don’t want to just impose your personality on people.
Matthews has a locker right next to Tyrod Taylor. It was no request, just what he calls “luck of the draw”. He lets Taylor have his space, but also is bonding with his new quarterback over a language they both can speak: football. More importantly, Bills football.
“When I get healthy, we can continue to build that friendship,” Matthews said. “Hopefully, it turns into something good.”
Hopefully, it won’t be interrupted again by another freak hockey injury.