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NFL restrictions keep pro-bowler, Houston native training in his hometown

Jake Matthews is using this time to focus even more on staying fit

HOUSTON – Usually at this time of the year, Elkins graduate and Pro-Bowler Jake Matthews is heading back to work.

“Normally right now I would be back in Atlanta, doing all the team workouts and meetings and stuff,” explained Matthews, who plays offensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons.

Due to NFL facilities being shut down because if the coronavirus pandemic, the Texas A&M alum is stuck here in Houston. Matthews said he is training at Plex in order to stay in top NFL shape.

“Thankfully, I’ve been coming to Danny (Arnold) and Plex in high school and my NFL career,” Matthews said. “He’s done a really good job of finding ways to get stuff done without putting ourselves in danger.”

Danny Arnold, director of Plex, feels this pandemic will show who truly wants to stay fit.

“You’re going to see a lot of athletes don’t have discipline,” Arnold said. “I like it because our athletes are going to separate themselves even further.”

“All the guys in the NFL, they want it so bad, they’re going to find a way to work out and get it done,” Matthews said. “If you don’t, you’ll probably fall behind this season.”

Discipline has never been a hurdle for Matthews, who comes from a family of NFL players. But for rookies who are just starting out, training by themselves could be tough.

“I’ll just say I’m happy I’m not in that situation," Matthews said. “It’s already tough coming into a rookie. Coming into a new city and meeting new people and basically changing your entire life, but I think the teams will do a good job of getting everybody ready.”

He also has been trying to become a better cook during this period of social distancing and says being forced to be creative could be an advantage.

“It’s kind of forced you to get out of your comfort zone and try different things, and I feel it paying off,” Matthews said. “I feel like I’m in better shape, and I’m trying to make the most of it.”