Jim Irsay Doesn’t Think Robert Mathis Will Be Ready for Opener
According to ESPN’s Mike Wells, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay doesn’t expect veteran pass rusher Robert Mathis to be ready by the team’s regular season opener against the Buffalo Bills on September 13th:
In fact, per Colts.com’s Steve Andress, it could be more like late September, early October:
Update (11:09): Here’s what Irsay had to say exactly:
"“I think it’s hard to say,” Irsay said when he’d expect Mathis to return. “We want to make sure that the doctors feel he’s ready, and that re-injury and that sort of thing is not going to be a problem. So again, we’ve talked about kind of October roughly. Can he come back quicker than that? Knowing Robert, anything’s possible.”“I really don’t know if he’s going to be ready for the Buffalo game to open the season,” added Irsay. “I know he’d like to be, but it’s really going to be up to our doctors just to decide, ‘Has he progressed enough where he’s cleared?’, and gets off PUP and he’s ready to go. So again, I would guess early October, late September right now, but we’ll see.”"
Currently, Mathis has been placed on PUP as he rehabilitates from a season-ending torn Achilles he suffered last season. However, he can be activated anytime before the start of the NFL’s regular season.
While Mathis has been held out of the team’s 11-on-11 practices at training camp, he has been able to do individual drills on the side, as he gets closer to fully returning to the field:
The 34 year old pass rusher was perhaps overly optimistic when he proclaimed he’d be ready to go by the start of the Colts regular season, whereas Irsay realistically tempered expectations by saying it may not be until November.
Earlier, when asked when he expects Mathis to return, Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said that still has yet to be readily determined by anyone:
"“I don’t think anyone really knows,” said Manusky earlier during training camp. “I think it’s his body, and whenever he comes back and feels healthy and he’s ready to roll, that’ll be the point. And I think discussions with the training staff, head coach, GM, and even with us as coaches, just to figure out what’s the best timing for him and when he’s going to be 100%. Not 85%. Not 90%.”"
Either way, if he returns fully healthy, Mathis should provide a big boost to the Colts pass rushing game. He’s just one year removed from a 19.5 sack season in 2013, which led the NFL.
If he can regain anything close to his prior form, he should join the likes of Trent Cole and Jonathan Newsome to provide the team with a formidable pass rushing trio.
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