Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says Robert Mathis won’t play until at least late September, according to reports.
The Colts linebacker has stated he will be ready for the beginning of the season, but the Irsay does not feel the same way. He doesn’t feel optimistic that Mathis will be at the season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
According to Zak Keefer of the Indy Star, Irsay said the Colts aren’t expecting the 34-year-old to be ready to play until ‘early October or late September.
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He said: “It’s hard to say. We want to make sure the doctors feel he’s ready. And that re-injuring and that sort of thing is not going to be a problem. We’ve talked about kind of October, roughly. Can he come back quicker than that? Knowing Robert, anything is possible.
“I really just don’t think he’s going to be ready for the Buffalo game at the start of the season.”
Mathis’ injury was caused last September when he tore his Achilles whilst working out during his own four-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs. He has not played a game since January 2014, and he didn’t appear in a preseason game last year either.
During his last full season with the Colts back in 2013, the six-time Pro Bowler set a new career high of 19.5 sacks, and he is the all-time franchise leader in sacks with 111.
These statistics show how much Mathis will be missed if he isn’t available for the start of the season. It certainly showed last season as the Colts’ defense wasn’t as good during games when he wasn’t on the field, as evidently showed in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
He is such a strong leader and a good mentor to the other linebackers at the Colts that his absence will definitely be felt if he isn’t available for week one.