Last weekend, ESPN's Mike Wells reported that Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis "did suffer a slight setback" in his recovery from a torn Achilles, as had been rumored. Shortly after that, however, Mathis' agent, Hadley Engelhard, said that no such setback had occurred and that Mathis was doing "fine." Engelhard said that Mathis hoped to be back in time for some OTAs with the Colts.
Of course, with that being a story entering the week, general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano were both asked about the status of the star pass rusher today at the Combine.
"The thing is, we're really at the mercy of our doctors," Grigson said, "I mean we're at the mercy of our doctors, we have to go with the plan they set forth with therapy and things like that. As far as Robert, he's doing great."
Chuck Pagano offered encouragement that the pass rusher could get back and play well. "We all know how Robert's wired," Pagano said. "We know what's in his DNA. If anybody can come back and be productive, it's him. I have all the faith and trust that Robert's going to do everything within him power to get himself back and get back on the football field."
Of course, no timetable for a return was set by the Colts and it truly is up to the doctors and not the GM or the coach, but from listening to them talk it sounds like Mathis' recovery is going well and that they expect him back at some point.
Expecting Robert Mathis to get back to the level that he was at before his Achilles injury is an unrealistic hope, as he led the league in sacks (with 19.5) in 2013. Now, however, he's a soon-to-be 34 year old outside linebacker coming off of a torn Achilles and a year away from football. For as good as he has been over the past decade, there are questions about how effective he can be upon his return.
According to the Colts, however, Mathis is "doing great" and Chuck Pagano isn't putting it past him to come back and produce at a high level for the Colts. Hopefully that'll be the case, but they can't count on that - which is why both Grigson and Pagano mentioned how important it is to add pass rush help.