The Indianapolis Colts today made a pretty significant move that showed up on their transactions page: they have taken outside linebacker Robert Mathis off of the physically unable to play list, meaning that he is eligible to return to practice.
The most recent update we received on Mathis' status was from owner Jim Irsay early in training camp, who said that it's expected to be a late September or early October return for Mathis. So while he's now eligible to return to practice, it could still be some time before he returns to the game field.
Nonetheless, it's still very significant and good news that Mathis is now off the PUP list and able to return. It means that he's far enough along in his recovery that the Colts think he can return to practice, and he is out there on the practice field today.
He has been running and cutting and doing work on a side field during camp, and he has looked good while doing so. The main question was when he would be ready to return to football activities, and that seems close. We can be sure, however, that the Colts will work him back slowly - as, after all, they want him around later in the season when the games really matter.
Mathis is the franchise's all-time sack leader with 111 career sacks. In 2013, Mathis led the league with 19.5 sacks, but he tore his Achilles while serving a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season, causing him to miss the entire season.