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Jim Irsay doesn't expect Robert Mathis back by training camp for the Colts

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Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke with the media tonight at the Colts' open mini-camp practice and mentioned that he doesn't expect pass rusher Robert Mathis back by training camp for the team.

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The Indianapolis Colts held an open mini-camp practice for fans at Lucas Oil Stadium, and after the practice the Colts gathered at mid-field as owner Jim Irsay presented pass rusher Robert Mathis with a nice-looking watch to commemorate his Deacon Jones Award in 2013, recognizing Mathis for leading the NFL in sacks in 2013 with 19.5.

Earlier in the practice, Irsay spoke to the media, and the topic of Mathis' recovery from a torn Achilles came up.  "I don't think at this point anyone knows for sure,'' Irsay said of Mathis' return, according to FOX59's Mike Chappell.  "Obviously Robert is optimistic and he's a fast healer.  I would say I don't see him being football-ready for the start of training camp, where he would be a full-go guy.  Time will tell.  Obviously Robert wants to be back as soon as he can be.  We want him back as soon as he can be.  But we also want to make sure when he comes back that he's 100 percent healthy and ready to go."

Earlier this offseason, Irsay had said that Mathis might not return until November, though it became clear that it was more of a worst-case scenario.  "It could be sooner than that certainly,'' Irsay acknowledged tonight.  "But as far as the start of training camp, I don't see him being a full-go guy as we're starting up in Anderson.''

Mathis told WTHR recently that he planned to be back by September, when the Colts open the season against the Buffalo Bills on September 13.  Irsay's statements tonight don't contradict that, either, as Irsay simply said that he doesn't anticipate Mathis being back by the time the Colts report to training camp on August 1.  Hopefully it'll be before the season opener, but it's too hard to tell right now.  It could be during training camp, it could be before the season, it could be before November, and it could be in November - or it could be even after that.  At this point, we really just don't know, though the indications now seem to be that Mathis won't be back for the start of camp but hopefully for the start of the season.

Chappell offered a thought that would make a lot of sense regarding Mathis possibly opening training camp on the PUP list.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The closer we get to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/colts?src=hash">#colts</a> reporting for training camp Aug. 1, the more convinced I am he opens camp on PUP. Just makes sense. Caution.</p>&mdash; Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) <a href="https://twitter.com/mchappell51/status/608807669541896192">June 11, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>