The Buffalo Bills are thin and inexperienced at the wide receiver position. Jordan Matthews is the best and most experienced of the group and has been dealing with an injury since the first day he arrived at training camp. A chipped sternum has kept him out of practice and all preseason games but he says he will be ready for Week 1 at home against the New York Jets.
“Yeah I’m completely confident in that [playing week 1] for sure, no question,” said Matthews Tuesday.
Hopefully Matthews can make an immediately offensively because Tyrod Taylor is going to need the best available on the field. There isn’t really a true number one threat at receiver, the top three guys can play inside and out and there will be a lot of different formations where these guys will be lined up. Matthews commented on whether he will be in the slot or outside in his locker room interview today.
“I think I’ll do a little bit of both honestly, there’s definitely that call right now for me to do a lot for the team. You know, Zay is young but he doesn’t act like it so he’s going to be thrown into the fire real quickly and he’s going to be able to make plays.”
After the injury, he had trouble with range of motion in his back and arms, he said that range is getting better and unless he takes a big shot at the moment he seems unbothered. Matthews has been wearing a protective undershirt beneath his pads to protect his sternum and he says he was able to catch hard thrown balls from Tyrod and not feel anything.
Matthews wouldn’t comment on if he would be ready to play if the opener against the Jets was tomorrow, so that leads you to believe that he wouldn’t be ready but he must be close.
For his part, head coach Sean McDermott is enthusiastic about Matthews’ return.
“He’s still on a limited basis,” said McDermott of Matthews on Tuesday. “He’s out there. He’s getting some work. We’re still cautiously optimistic and in saying that, he’s not full-go yet. He’s not full contact yet. That said, we like the direction he’s going and I think Jordan has had the right mindset, the right approach. I love his energy and he’s developing good rapport with the quarterbacks at this point.”
To that end, quaterback Nathan Peterman told the media on Tuesday that Matthews has been working on timing with the quarterbacks after practice for 30 minutes each day.