There has been a lot of discussion this offseason about when star pass rusher Robert Mathis might return to the field for the Colts, and team owner Jim Irsay said last week that it might not be until November.
Mathis, appearing on Sirius XM NFL Radio this evening with former Colts general manager Bill Polian and FOX Sports analyst and Sirius XM host Alex Marvez, said that, while he's not yet running, he expects to be ready for the start of training camp. This per Marvez:
.@Colts OLB Robert Mathis said he's not ready to run yet but plans to be ready for start of training camp. Audio coming soon @SiriusXMNFL— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) April 1, 2015
Obviously, this would be great news and very encouraging to see Mathis actually make it back on the field for the start of camp. He tore his Achilles right around the beginning of the season last year and missed the entire season, one year after leading the NFL with 19.5 sacks. A return in time for the start of training seems to be a rather aggressive and optimistic timeline, but that seems to be the timetable that Mathis is hoping for. It makes sense that he'll want to get out on the field as fast as possible, but I'd expect the Colts to exercise a bit more caution in making sure that the star pass rusher is fully ready to return to action before allowing him to participate. That's still a few months away, however, and it would be great news for the Colts if there was even that decision to be made.
Mathis will be a 34-year old pass rusher coming off of a season away due to his torn Achilles, and as such there are rightfully many questions about how effective he will be upon his return. He has had a terrific career and is the Colts' all-time leader with 111 sacks, but there will be some questions entering 2015. That is part of the reason why the Colts signed veteran pass rusher Trent Cole, as at worst the team will have some solid options with Cole, Jonathan Newsome, and other situational rushers. Hopefully Mathis will step in and really be productive and provide a huge boost for the Colts' defense, but it's going to be hard for them to count on him to return to his previous level of play.
The first step toward making that happen, however, is getting back on the field, and while he's still not to the point where he's running, Robert Mathis does expect to be ready for the start of training camp. Whether or not that actually happens is something that we'll be keeping an eye on this offseason.