With all of the talk yesterday about the Colts vs. Bills game, this is something you might have missed but is still absolutely worth noting: according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis underwent ten surgeries in the past year for his Achilles. Ten.
That's a crazy number, and Schefter has more about the setbacks:
During his rehab, Mathis had 10 surgical procedures over an eight-month span to prevent infection and ensure that the Achilles was healing right, according to league sources. Doctors said they were amazed the 34-year-old Mathis suffered the number of setbacks he did, as well as the determination he demonstrated in overcoming them.
We had heard earlier this offseason reports that Mathis had suffered a setback (though his agent denied it), but I don't think anyone really understood just how many setbacks there were. Undergoing ten surgeries for one injury in a one-year span is a lot, and it makes it even more remarkable that Mathis is expected to be back on the field Monday night for the Colts' home opener against the Jets.
In his career with the Colts, Mathis has played in 163 games and has recorded a franchise-record 111 sacks along with 48 forced fumbles. Getting him back will certainly be a nice boost for the team, though there is also the other reality in that he is a 34-year old coming off of a torn Achilles (and ten surgeries). There are legitimate questions about how effective and productive he will be upon his return, but regardless of that, it will be nice to see him out on the field again and will be a great moment for Mathis, especially considering everything that he went through to try to get back on the field.
There was a chance that Mathis would play on Sunday and was a game time decision, but the Colts opted to sit him and make him inactive for week one, likely meaning that his first game back will be in front of the home crowd on Monday night.