The Colts are currently dealing with a number of injury situations, and one of them is to the franchise’s all-time sack leader in Robert Mathis. The outside linebacker suffered a bicep injury late in Thursday night’s game and hasn’t practiced since, prompting questions of his availability for the upcoming Monday night game against the Jets.
Appearing on the Robert Mathis Show with WNDE’s Jake Query and Derek Schultz on Tuesday night, Mathis provided an update on his injury situation.
Schultz tweeted yesterday that Mathis said, “it’s sore. I had to use my other arm to get the sides at the [Thanksgiving] table. But I’m working at it.”
“It was a little sore,” Mathis also said, according to Colts.com. “I couldn’t extend the way I liked to. I hated that I couldn’t finish the game."
He added that, “I’m working my butt off rehabbing, but it’s one of those where you will have to see where you are at come game day."
At this point, it still seems up in the air as to whether Mathis will be able to play this week or not. The team still has three days of practice left since they play Monday night, so there’s plenty of time for him to get back to work and get ready to play. But it doesn’t sound like a sure thing yet.
When asked about Mathis’s status on Monday and whether he’s day to day, head coach Chuck Pagano agreed that you could say that. Today, Pagano said was that Mathis wouldn’t work today at practice.
While it’s a significant loss because of who it is, it’s not as huge of a loss from the on-field standpoint. The veteran has started eleven games this year and has recorded 16 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In addition, he has recorded just four quarterback hits this year, tied for fourth on the team. He is on pace for his lowest sack total in a season he actually played in since he recorded 3.5 in his rookie season in 2003 - a year in which he didn’t start a single game. Since then, the lowest single-season total in a year he played at least one game in is seven sacks, which he did in 2007 and then also in 2015.
In his career, though, Mathis is the Colts’ all-time leader in sacks (with 121) and forced fumbles (with 50) and has been a tremendous player, recording five double-digit sack seasons and making six Pro Bowls. He’s far from the same player now as he was in the past, however, and so the reason this loss is significant is because of his past success and also the lack of depth at pass rush. Though Mathis hasn’t been great, he’s still one of their better pass rush options. If the Colts had to play without him, it would mean more time for guys like Akeem Ayers, which might not be a bad thing as the Colts try to find any spark they can in the area of pass rush.