Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews announced via Twitter on Thursday that he had a pair of surgeries to repair his left knee and right ankle.
So was that his decision, or one made by the team?
"I think it’s a combination of both," coach Sean McDermott said Friday. "You know, you watch Jordan over the season. He’s toughed it out at times, being out there not really able to execute at his maximum potential. So we just felt like it was, again, a situation where it was right for him. We’re always going to try and do the right thing by the player first. So had a conversation with Jordan and feel good about it. I'm happy for him that he’s going to have a chance to get this thing cleaned up and ready to go."
Matthews, who was acquired in an August trade with the Philadelphia Eagles along with a third-round draft pick in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby, finished the year with 25 catches for 282 yards and one touchdown. He said in his tweet that the injuries have plagued him the past two years.
— Jordan Matthews (@jmattjmattjmatt) December 14, 2017
That prompted McDermott to be asked Friday how much the team knew about Matthews' injuries before making the trade.
"I’m not going to go there with that," he said. "I’m not going to go there at all."
Matthews will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He missed one game earlier this season after suffering a broken thumb in Week 4 against Atlanta, and also was hurt in his first practice with the Bills during training camp after being acquired, returning for the season opener.
"Well, when you look at it, he did some good things," McDermott said. "We felt as we move forward on through the season he was hindered a little bit by some of these type injuries. Like I said before, I appreciate the fact that he tried to push through some of this. At the end of the day, like we said, we decided it was best for us to move in this direction and for him as well."
Matthews spoke with The Buffalo News before the Bills' Week 13 game against New England about what had been a trying first season here.
"I mean, what do I have, 100 maybe, 200 yards?" he said. "I'm not a 200-yard receiver. I definitely think I'm a 1,000-yard receiver.
"If you ask any receiver, they always feel like they can do more. I think there's a lot more that I can do, but at the same time, I want to be able to help my team and play within the confines of what (offensive coordinator Rick Dennison) and all the guys are asking me to do. My biggest job is to make sure I come out here and make the plays whenever I have the opportunity."