Seahawk defensive lineman Michael Bennett said Tuesday he's simply looking forward to playing the Atlanta Falcons and not getting back at left tackle Jake Matthews for an incident in a game in October that left Bennett with a knee injury.
Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett had harsh words for Atlanta left tackle Jake Matthews after an incident in the team’s regular season matchup on Oct. 16 that left Bennett with a knee injury that ultimately sidelined him for five games.
But Tuesday, as a rematch with Matthews and the Falcons approaches in a divisional playoff game, Bennett did his best to avoid the topic.
Bennett was forced to leave the first game against Atlanta after taking a cut block from Matthews in the third quarter. After returning to play the following week against Arizona, it was decided Bennett needed arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage in his knee that was a result of the block from Matthews, which caused him to miss five games before returning for a Dec. 4 game against Carolina.
Asked Tuesday about the prospect of facing Matthews again, Bennett said simply “I’m always looking forward to do against anybody this time of year. This time of the year is always a great time of the year to be out there and play a game.’’
Most Read Sports Stories
- Mariners fall to Tigers, giving Toronto top wild-card spot
- Julio Rodriguez has Seattle buzzing, and it's not just for what he does on the field
- Reactions to Kraken's new mascot, Buoy, roll in
- M's sweep Tigers, set playoff date at Toronto
- Rams' Bobby Wagner makes his most memorable hit against a fan with a smoke bomb
That was a different tune than Bennett sung after the game in October when Bennett accused Matthews of a dirty play, calling it a “scary (expletive) move’’ and that “he just dove at my knee. … honestly, I think if you dive at someone else’s legs, you’re a little (expletive). If you are big in the NFL, you just line up and play — why you got to cut someone on the (expletive) play? I mean, I don’t know. That (expletive) is just stupid to me. Why cut somebody when you can just line up and win? I don’t know. I don’t come off the ball jumping at offensive linemen’s legs.’’
Matthews, however, was not penalized or fined for the play and Seattle coach Pete Carroll said later he did not think the play was dirty.
“It was just a cut block,’’ Carroll said. “The guy cut him — it was clean. Nobody wants to get hit in the legs or anything. But it wasn’t a dirty play or anything like that. It wasn’t illegal, he (Bennett) just didn’t like it.”
Matthews later defended himself saying he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone and was just doing his job.
Bennett at the time had said he was even more miffed because Matthews also attended Texas A&M. Tuesday, he said he has not talked to Matthews since then, but when asked if his anger has subsided from the day when the injury indicated it has.
Since the injury and missing five games with surgery Bennett has returned to the field and two weeks ago signed a three-year contract extension with the Seahawks worth $31.5 million total and $17.5 million guaranteed.
“I’m angry every day,’’ he said. “But I don’t have many reasons to be angry these days so I just want to go out there and play a great game.’’