The outside linebacker and franchise all-time leader with 111 sacks spoke about his season-ending torn left Achilles tendon injury, about how tough it has been to watch the Colts and addressed Tuesday’s decision to extend his contract one year to 2016.
Mathis was suspended four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy, a transgression he admitted for taking a fertility drug to help his wife get pregnant. The drug, Clomid, boosts men’s testosterone levels, thus is banned by the NFL.
The 12th-year pro, who led the league last season with a career-high and franchise-record 19.5 sacks, was serving his suspension and working out in his hometown of Atlanta when he suffered the torn Achilles. The recovery timetable is six months.
“I’ll be back faster,” he said. “I’m a fast healer.”
He admits it’s been a difficult year with everything that’s happened, and watching the Colts, he joked, as prompted him to turn over a couple pieces of furniture at times.
“Everybody’s gotta fight out the funk sometimes,” Mathis said.
Known for his brevity in interviews, he said of his extended contract, “They love me. I love them.” He elaborated later, “I’ll go as long as I can. As long as they want me, I want them.”
Mathis will try to help his teammates with his insight as an extra coach. Head coach Chuck Pagano said Colts intend to make him earn his money this season.
That suits him just fine.
“Just help any way I can,” he said.
His advice is simple: “Know what you’re doing and just go somewhere real fast.”
He looks forward to finishing his NFL career strong, and for the only one team the 2003 fifth-round selection has ever known.
“It’s no secret I love being here,” Mathis said.Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.