Yesterday, we mentioned the report from ESPN's Mike Wells in a weekend mailbag that Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis had suffered a "slight setback" in his recovery from a torn Achilles, though he didn't re-tear the Achilles. Since then, a number of national media outlets have picked up the story, and that has prompted a response from Mathis' agent, Hadley Engelhard.
According to NFL.com, Engelhard said that Mathis has not had a setback in his recovery, which is going "fine," and that the outside linebacker hopes to be ready for at least part of OTAs.
Of course, even Colts general manager Ryan Grigson didn't give a timetable for Mathis' return when meeting with the media in January, and he wasn't ready to say whether Mathis would be back in time to start training camp or not. So there's some discrepancy in these two reports, with Grigson not sure when Mathis will be back and Mathis' agent saying that the linebacker hopes to be back for some OTAs. Furthermore, Engelhard is refuting Wells' report that Mathis suffered a setback.
Regardless of Mathis' status, the Colts have to realize that for a soon-to-be 34-year old player coming off of a year off and a torn Achilles, Mathis can't really be counted on to reach the level he was at before the injury. He led the NFL in sacks in 2013 with 19.5, but expecting him to reach that same level after a major injury like this one is unrealistic. That's not to say he absolutely can't do it, but the Colts better not count on it. They must add pass rush help this offseason and then hope that Mathis can step back in and play well upon his return - whenever that may be.
So here's what we have: Ryan Grigson wasn't ready to give a timetable nor commit to a training camp return for Mathis in January, and then this weekend ESPN's Mike Wells addressed some rumors that were going around by saying that Mathis had suffered a "slight setback." Today, Mathis' agent told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport that no such setback occurred and that Mathis hoped to join the Colts for OTAs. So while we don't know for sure what is going on, we do know that, as of right now, it sounds pretty certain that Mathis will be back at some point in 2015 and that the Colts can't count on him to return to his previous form whenever he does return.