The NFL’s 2013 sack leader will be hard-pressed to defend his title in 2014, as a suspension will force Robert Mathis out of action for the first month of the upcoming season. The Colts and the NFL announced today that the standout pass rusher will have to serve a four-game suspension as a result of violating the league’s policy on prohibited substances (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan).
“Like many families, my wife and I faced fertility challenges, and I sought medical assistance,” Mathis said in a statement explaining the situation (TwitLonger link). “I specifically asked the doctor if the medication he prescribed for me would present a problem for NFL drug testing, and unfortunately, he incorrectly told me that it would not. … The union has worked very closely with me to present all of the facts and medical records for consideration of discipline that does not include a suspension because of the unique facts of my case, but the Commissioner refused the request.”
Missing the first four contests of the 2014 season means that Mathis won’t be available to chase former teammate Peyton Manning during the league’s opening game in Denver. He also won’t be available when the Colts play the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans. In addition to sitting out for four games, Mathis will also have to forgo about $706K in base salary, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). The silver lining for Mathis and his family? His wife did indeed became pregnant shortly after Mathis took the medication.