On Friday, the Indianapolis Colts learned that they will be without star pass rusher Robert Mathis for the first four games of the 2014 regular season, as he serves out a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
While many are disappointed with Mathis’ suspension and reasoning for the positive test, his head coach is standing behind him as he looks to continue playing at the level he was a year ago when he racked up a career-high 19.5 sacks.
“We love and respect Robert Mathis,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s a horseshoe guy, he’s a pillar guy, and like I said before, we’ve got his back. Everybody in this organization has his back and we’ll get through this and at the end of the day, we’ll all be better for it.
“We certainly understand the severity of this situation, but as we’ve done many, many times before in our short stint here, we’ll get through this. We’ll come together as a team. We’ll come together as a family. We’ll come together as an organization and we’ll get through this. . . . That’s why we’ve got a 90-man roster right now. We lost five starters I believe last year on offense, right? It was next man up in those situations. So somebody will take advantage of the opportunity to show up and play great football.”
The Colts will face a number of tough opponents without Mathis in the line up, including Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
It will be interesting to see where they look to pick up some of the production, but it is clear that Mathis’ suspension is a huge loss.