Jordan Matthews, ahead of schedule, eager to play again

Posted Oct 16, 2017

His recovery from thumb surgery is ahead of schedule. Jordan Matthews is out of his cast and is doing everything he can to strengthen his thumb so he can get back in the lineup.

We’ve heard the phrase, the power of positive healing. It’s clear wide receiver Jordan Matthews is a big believer in that phrase. He’s made it his mantra in his recovery from thumb surgery, which as of now is well ahead of schedule.

Matthews had thumb surgery two weeks ago after sustaining the injury in the win over Atlanta. Even heading into the bye week he was designated as week to week. But on Monday head coach Sean McDermott changed that designation to day to day due to the unexpected progress that Matthews has made in his recovery.

The fourth-year receiver credits his accelerated healing to focusing on good vibes and the support of his family.

“I think positive thinking and I’ve been having a lot of close people around me praying for me. We’ve been speaking positively about the entire deal, so I think that helps in the healing process,” he said. “I think when you believe that you’re hurt, you’re going to be hurt and it’s going to take longer.

“I don’t believe I’m hurt. Even when I saw the initial break, I thought we could put it back in place and that I’d be able to play. It’s just unfortunate with a thumb injury they always pretty much go straight to surgery. If it was any of my other fingers I might not have even had to go into surgery. It’s just unfortunate that it was the thumb. I’ve been impressed with how it’s been feeling out of the cast.”

Matthews range of motion with his thumb coming out of the cast was expected to be limited, but it wasn’t. It’s helped to put him on the fast track to return. Whether he can play Sunday against Tampa Bay however, appears to still be up in the air.

“He made a tremendous amount of progress,” said McDermott. “We just have to see how he looks going into Wednesday.”

At Monday’s abbreviated practice, Matthews worked on his conditioning on the stationary bike and caught tennis balls with his left hand.

In addition to keeping his off hand sharp, Matthews is also going through a series of strength exercises to improve the strength of his thumb and right hand now that it’s out of the cast.

“Old school stress ball,” said Matthews smiling. “Some things never change. I’ve got a great acupuncture guy too. Who knew the stuff in your neck helps your thumb? There’s a whole other level of science going into it now. My acupuncture guys, my massage people, everything. Just to get more range of motion.

"I’ve been doing all this hand therapy with no anti-inflammatory (medication) or anything, so when it’s time to play and I can actually do something to help suppress the pain a little bit I think that will also help me to go out there and feel like myself.”

Matthews has not yet been cleared to catch footballs. If that happens at some point this week the signs will be good for a return to the lineup this weekend. Otherwise the receiver is likely out for another week.

“It’s day to day. It’s an ongoing conversation,” said Matthews. “I have to keep getting examined by our team doctors and the hand specialist I have to see. Everybody is on board with where I am right now. This is something where some people say this might take a very long time. It’s not looking like that right now, so that’s the type of optimism we want to go into it with.”