Clay Matthews appeared to disapprove of the Packers’ re-issuing his No. 52 so quickly after his free agency departure to the Rams. After the Packers tweeted out a photoshoped image of Rashan Gary wearing Matthews’ old jersey, Matthews replied, “The body’s not even cold yet lol.”
Gary, a first-round draft pick, said Friday he requested 52.
It perhaps for a different reason than expected, but the former Michigan star did realize it was Matthews’ old number.
“Five minus 2 equals 3. I wore 3 in college,” Gary said, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “But Clay Matthews was a guy I used to watch his game a lot. I’m a bigger type of guy, but watching what he used to do, his passion for the game, man, I loved it. As soon as I saw it was open, I had to take it.”
Gary has a long way to go to live up to the number. Matthews left Green Bay as the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks with 83.5, and tied with Reggie White and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila with four 10-sack seasons.
“Coming to an organization like this, you understand the players that play here before you and the standard that you need to uphold,” Gary said. “Every time I wear that 52, it means a lot to me.”