We're still about an hour away from kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Colts' Monday Night Football game against the New York Jets, but already we've got good news: both wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and outside linebacker Robert Mathis are active and are expected to play tonight.
For Mathis, it will be the first meaningful game that he'll play in since the Colts' playoff loss in the 2013 season, as he missed all of last year with a torn Achilles. The last time we saw him on the field, he led the NFL with 19.5 sacks during the 2013 season and was a dominant game-changer. Now? We don't know what to expect from a 34-year old coming off of an injury, but it will still be great to see number 98 out on the field. It's expected he'll see limited reps and likely just be a situational pass rusher, but still: welcome back, Robert Mathis.
Hilton will also play tonight after injuring his knee last week. It will be interesting to see how the Jets opt to play the receiver who is likely slightly less than 100%, as it's entirely possible that they will put Darrelle Revis on him - which would open things up for the other receivers, too.
Here's the full list of inactives for the Colts:
Darius Butler, CB (hip)
Greg Toler, CB (neck)
Nate Irving, ILB (knee)
T.Y. McGill, DL
Denzelle Good, OL
Jonathan Newsome, OLB (hamstring)
Zach Kerr, DL
The only surprise on this inactive list is Jonathan Newsome, who missed practice on Saturday with a hamstring injury but was said to be ok. He was questionable for the game, however, so it's not a total surprise that he's inactive, but Chuck Pagano downplayed the injury Saturday. Perhaps with Mathis back the Colts are opting to play it safe and not play Newsome.
It's also a bit odd to see Nate Irving inactive, but considering the fact that he only played one snap last week in his return from a torn ACL, it's likely just that the Colts are letting him continue to recover.
And, of course, as we noted earlier in the week, the Colts are very thin at cornerback tonight. Starter Greg Toler is out, as is number three corner Darius Butler - who started for Toler last week. Then number four corner, D'Joun Smith, was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return this week. So tonight, alongside Vontae Davis will be Jalil Brown making his first career start. Backing him up will be Sheldon Price and Eric Patterson. That position is absolutely one worth watching tonight.