As we’ve learned with injuries, just writing an article about a player potentially being injured can be misconstrued as freaking out about a situation, so it’s important to state this up front: despite what the headline of this article might lead you to believe, it’s not time to freak out yet.
But with that said, it is absolutely worth noting that Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis was wearing a protective boot today when he showed up for the Robert Mathis Show with Jake Query and Derek Schultz, for what he said was a toe issue.
Mathis is wearing a protective boot, says it's a toe issue. Says he's not concerned about it.— Derek Schultz (@Schultz975) September 13, 2016
Mathis isn’t concerned about it and we shouldn’t be either yet, but it’s something to monitor. A player in a boot is noteworthy, especially when he’s the guy the Colts are relying on to provide the bulk of their pass rush. Furthermore, general manager Ryan Grigson said yesterday on Colts Roundtable on 1070 the Fan that Mathis was indeed limited this preseason with an injury (head coach Chuck Pagano had given the indication during preseason that it was mainly just for rest purposes).
“We know Robert can play football, Grigson said. “He had some things slowing him down from a health standpoint during preseason and we didn’t want to accentuate that, so we had to be smart with him. Of course any player that’s going out there for the first time has got to shake off a little bit of rust, but the effort was there. He was involved in plays, and I think those plays that maybe he left on the field he’s going to make up the difference here moving forward because he’s getting used to the game speed and so forth. But Robert Mathis is always going to go out there and lay it on the line. Just his sheer presence helps tilt the field for us. So he’s going to be fine.”
So Grigson acknowledged that Mathis was dealing with an injury during preseason and that the Colts didn’t want to make it worse, so that and the information about Mathis being in a protective boot with a toe injury fits together. That makes it especially worth watching, as if indeed it was the same toe issue that limited him in the preseason (and we don’t have confirmation, just an educated guess by putting the pieces together) then it’s possible it’s a lingering thing.
Again, don’t freak out yet, but it’s clear that Mathis is at least dealing with something. It’s unlikely that he’ll miss a game unless things get worse, but the Colts need him to play at a high level and provide the pass rush for the defense. He wasn’t able to do that on Sunday, and it’s fair to wonder whether the toe slowed him down just a bit. Regardless, it’s something to pay attention to. Mathis didn’t appear on the injury report last week as being limited in practice (which is a very good sign), so at this point it’s just something to keep monitoring without freaking out.