Despite previous reports that the Indianapolis Colts Robert Mathis had “suffered a setback“, the team’s brass is optimistic that he’s healthy and on-schedule in his rehabilitation from a torn achilles injury per their knowledge of his recovery.
Aug 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis talks to teammates while in the bench area during a game against the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
First, General Manager Ryan Grigson noted that it ultimately was up to the team doctors, but as far as he knew, Mathis was progressing and doing great in his rehab:
"“You know the thing is, we’re at the mercy of our doctors,” Grigson said. “You know, I mean we’re at the mercy of our doctors. With the plan they set forth, with therapy and things like that, as far as I know, Robert’s doing great.”"
"“We all know how Robert is wired,” Pagano said. “We know what’s in his DNA. If anyone can come back and be productive, its him. I have faith that he can do what he needs to get back on the field and be productive. If anybody can come back, its him.”"
It’s unclear what the true story is, as Mathis agent later came out earlier this week and said that Mathis had suffered no setback in his rehabilitation, which further clouded matters.
Of course, Mathis was suspended 4 games this past season because of PED’s only to be lost to a season-ending torn achilles injury, having never played a meaningful snap this year. While he’s just a year removed from a 19.5 sack season with the Colts, he’ll also turn 34 years old later this month and is coming off a significant injury as well as some lingering PED questions.
Despite having a returning Mathis and emerging young pass rusher Jonathan Newsome in the fold, both Grigson and Pagano noted that they still might be in the market for another pass rusher. Grigson specifically noted in Thursday’s combine press conference:
"“I was always brought up if you have 12 pass rushers, give me 13,” Grigson said. “You know, you can never have enough pass rushers and that’s ‘Scouting 101′. The hard part is actually finding them, and then findings ones that you know, the handful of them that are clean and really good. Clean in, I mean they don’t have any off-the-field, any warts, they’re hard to come by. You sometimes have to gamble later or maybe take a junior that has limited production and that’s where true scouting comes into play.”"
Pagano reiterated this pass rushing stance in his following press conference:
"“You can never have enough pass rushers,” Pagano said. “Or enough corners. Big long guys who can get to the passer. I though Manusky and the entire staff did a great job generating (a pass rush) and we found a way to get to the quarterback. We’ve got some guys who can get there, but you can never do enough to get better.”"
Despite having a number of glaring holes, it looks as though the Colts will have no second-thoughts about drafting a pass rusher early in this year’s draft. With today’s NFL being a passing league, they shouldn’t either as pass rushers are always held at a premium. If you can find a good one, you’d be wise to select him more often than not.
Jul 30, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano (left) talks to team president Ryan Grigson during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports