Colts LB Robert Mathis could play Week 1 at Buffalo

INDIANAPOLIS --Linebacker Robert Mathis' idea of being on the field for the Indianapolis Colts' season opener at Buffalo on Sept. 13 seemed out of the question when he suggested it in June.

That’s because Colts owner Jim Irsay once said it could be as late as November before Mathis played in a game.

It turns out there’s a chance that Mathis, who led the NFL in sacks with 19.5 in 2013, could be on the field against the Bills in a little over a week.

“There’s a possibility,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s been practicing and we’re getting him more reps. Every day he’s going through individual drills and we’re increasing the snaps he takes during the course of practice with each day. It started out with five snaps and we’ll increase that number again (next) week. We’ll just evaluate how the week goes. Rob is doing great. He’s making great progress.”

The Colts removed Mathis, who missed last season with a torn Achilles, off the physically unable to perform list on Aug. 25. Pagano made sure to make it clear that he’ll be the one deciding if Mathis plays against the Bills, not the linebacker.

“If we let Rob [decide] he’d out there, but I’m going to make the call on that,” Pagano said. “I’m going to protect Rob from Rob and do what’s best for the team, what’s best for him. If he’s able to go then we’ll make that decision when the time comes.”