INDIANAPOLIS -- Robert Mathis sightings around the Indianapolis Colts' facility during the media portion were pretty rare during the season.
There was no reason for linebacker to be in the locker room since he was out for the season with a torn Achilles, but you also wondered how his rehabilitation was going and if he would be ready for the start of training camp in July.
“No, he’s still in recovery,” general manager Ryan Grigson said when asked if he’s confident Mathis will be ready for training camp. “He’s a freak and you hope that he has an athletic genetic freak type of recovery so that he’s ready day one of training camp. But that information is not clear yet or a timeline is not there because it’s a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we’ll be able to have some information on that.”
The Colts definitely missed Mathis' pass-rush skills. He had 19.5 sacks in 2013. Rookie Jonathan Newsome led the team with just 6.5 sacks this season.
“Obviously having [Mathis] out was a big hole,” Grigson said. “But we don’t make excuses. That stuff gets forgotten and it should because a lot of teams win without key players. The next man up is for real. We found a way to still get pressure and play without his presence, but it makes it a heck of a lot harder, I promise you that. Just having him out on the field, even if he didn’t get out of his stance, it’s still going to command two blockers or more. That completely changes the complexion of a game just having him physically out there.
Here’s what ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell said when I asked her about a timetable on returning from a torn Achilles back in September.
“We see the 6-9 month return thrown around a lot ... Once the repair is solid and you have the basic range of motion back, then you start increasing the load on the tendon in that 3-6 month window. That’s usually tough with athletes in that recovery. You restricted your motions for a while and now you’re really working to get it back and start loading up the tendon. You’re going from being very protective to be more aggressive and that transition part is hard. The final stage after that is getting back into game shape.”