Packers LB Clay Matthews wearing visor on helmet to protect nose broken in softball game

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Someday, Clay Matthews said he'll show everyone the picture of what his nose looked like after he took a line drive off the face in a charity softball game last month.

Now that it's been fixed, all he'll say is that his nose was pointing off to the side of his face.

The byproduct, however, is that he'll have to play with a visor on his helmet facemask this season after he underwent reconstructive surgery. It was an adjustment at first, but after Saturday's third practice of training camp, the Green Bay Packers outside linebacker said he's used to it.

"The first time you put it on, whatever the scientific word is maybe refraction where your perception is off a little bit," Matthews told ESPN on Saturday. "Now as of Day 3 it's not an issue."

Matthews said he wore a visor briefly in college "just to swag out back then, but now it's for protection; we don't want to get poked because they said with a rhinoplasty, it could take months to really heal."

That was the recommendation of Dr. Paul Nassif, the famed Beverly Hills, California, plastic surgeon who worked on him.

Matthews said he was fortunate not to suffer more serious facial injuries. He said he bled so much initially that he got stitches, but there was so much swelling in his face that he had to wait more than a week to undergo surgery.

"It was all in the nose, which is good," he said. "No orbital fracture or teeth or anything like that. No matter how I got hit, it would've been unfortunate, but all things considered, this was probably the quickest turnaround of all the possible injuries. It was just really unfortunate. It's one of those injuries where everyone kind of makes light of it like, 'Oh, he just broke his nose,' like a basketball player will wear a facemask. But this thing was pointing off to one side. I'll post a picture one day because it was pretty bad."

If the early days of training camp have been an accurate indication, Matthews, 32, will be featured prominently in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's scheme. The Packers did not add an outside pass-rusher during free agency and drafted only one -- Kendall Donnerson of Southeast Missouri in the seventh round. Combine that with veteran Nick Perry still on the physically unable to perform list, and Matthews has taken the bulk of the snaps.

Matthews also underwent knee surgery in the offseason, and if anything would limit him this preseason, it would be that.

"I think the injury we're focused on and the number of reps Clay has played in his career is more about the knee," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We're not as concerned about the nose is the report from the training staff, so we just have to be smart."