The Colts were already planning on being without edge rusher Robert Mathis for the first four games of the season, and now they’ll have to get used to being without him for longer than that. Multiple league sources tell Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that Mathis suffered a torn Achilles tendon while working out in Atlanta last week, and will be sidelined for the entire 2014 season.
The NFL’s sack leader in 2013, Mathis has been a key part of the Colts’ defense for the last decade, averaging more than 10 sacks per season and earning spots in five Pro Bowls since emerging as a regular in 2004. However, following the suspension and the Achilles injury, his time in Indianapolis may be approaching an end.
The team could decide to place Mathis on the non-football injury list this season, since he didn’t suffer the injury in a team workout. That would mean the club could withhold his salary for this season, and then would have to decide whether to keep him around for next year, when he has a cap hit of $10.75MM for his age-34 season. Indianapolis could save $7MM in cap room by releasing him before the 2015 season.
For now, the Colts will have to find a way to get pressure on quarterbacks this season without their best pass rusher in the fold.