The Colts were forced to play the entire 2014 season without star pass rusher Robert Mathis, as he tore his Achilles while working out away from the team on his four-game suspension. In 2013, Mathis led the entire NFL with 19.5 sacks, but he didn't play a single regular season or postseason snap in 2014.
He's still recovering from his torn Achilles injury, and the Colts haven't given a timetable on his return. ESPN's Mike Wells, however, reported that Mathis had suffered a "slight setback" - but Mathis' agent quickly denied those claims. Well, thankfully he didn't suffer a setback, then, because it might be a while before he returns anyway (yes, that was sarcasm).
Team owner and CEO Jim Irsay said today at the owner's meetings that Mathis might not return until November - but Irsay expects Mathis to "re-emerge" then.
Jim Irsay says that it may not be until November but he is looking for Robert Mathis "to re-emerge" coming off the Achilles injury.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) March 23, 2015
Just to clarify that was a worst case scenario on Mathis. Obviously, a delicate situation/rehab coming off an Achilles injury.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) March 23, 2015
This shouldn't particularly come as a huge surprise, as it was indeed reported that Mathis suffered a slight setback and either way an Achilles injury takes a while to return from. The Colts' signing of Trent Cole was another sign that the team had some doubts about Mathis' status, as they at least have one healthy veteran pass rusher now.
Whenever Robert Mathis does return, he'll be thrust back into a pass rush role, but many are hesitant about how much of an impact he can make at 34-years old and returning from a major injury. For now, though, the major question isn't how effective Mathis will be upon returning but rather when that return will be - and according to Jim Irsay, that might not be until November. It's not a hard and fast timeline, but it's the first time the Colts have set any sort of a timetable whatsoever for Mathis to return. Hopefully he could return before that, but there's a chance he might not return until November for the Colts.
Mathis is the Colts' all-time sack leader with 111 during his twelve year career, also having recorded 487 tackles, 48 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, and an interception. In nine of the eleven seasons in which he has played at least one game, Mathis has recorded at least eight sacks - including double-digit sack totals in five different seasons and an NFL-high 19.5 in 2013.