Robert Mathis may not be returning to the playing field anytime soon after tearing his Achilles, but he has returned to the Colts complex, and that's still good news. Mathis was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the league's prohibited substances policy, so he wasn't allowed to be around the team. Four games have now passed, however, and even though Mathis isn't near ready to return to the field, his presence will still be felt at the West 56th Street complex.
The Colts today placed Mathis on the reserve/non-football injury list, taking him off of the suspended list. As such, he's back with the Colts, and his teammates and coaches are glad to see him. "Just like Reggie (Wayne), Reggie got enough time off to have surgery and mend up for a little bit and then he got back out here and ‘assistant coach,'" Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said today, drawing the comparison with receiver Reggie Wayne, who tore his ACL midseason last year. "So that's what [Mathis'] title is now. Great teammate, assistant coach, locker room patrol, he's got all kinds of assignments. I've got a whistle for him in my office ready to roll. It was great walking in the team meeting today. He always sits in the same seat he's sat in forever, he's in the upper right hand corner seat. I looked up there and saw his face and saw him sitting there, had to take a double take. It was awesome, awesome to have him back. It's great to have Rob back in the building. Again, his presence alone brings a ton of energy and excitement and enthusiasm to everybody."
Corner Darius Butler said that it was good, "just to see him in the locker room, in the meeting room. I saw him in the treatment room this morning. It just brightened my day to see him." Butler also talked about having Mathis back as an "assistant coach" and how that will help. "He's been around the game for a long time, and he's seen pretty much everything," Butler said today. "I'm sure he'll have a lot of input, mostly probably on the front end, but he always has little nuggets that we learn from."
"It's huge," quarterback Andrew Luck agreed regarding having Mathis back, "just to see him walking around the building, he belongs here. He's a Colt. He represents what this franchise is all about, so to have him back in the building is a good spirit lifter."
On a day filled with a lot of bad news for the Colts, the news of Robert Mathis returning to the complex is a positive. He's a leader and a great influence on the team. They're still trying to figure out how to replace his production on the field, but thankfully they won't have to try to replace his leadership anymore. Robert Mathis is back - if only in an "assistant coach" type role.