Mathis Injury Could Be Costly

Rashean Mathis can't beat the injury bug. Three years ago when he was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2006 season when he had eight interceptions, Mathis seemed to be ready to join the ranks of the elite cornerbacks. But he suffered a quad injury preparing for that game and has been bothered by injuries ever since. He's had just seven interceptions the last three years.

And now he has suffered a finger injury that might require surgery, but won't be a season-ending injury.

Mathis finished the game against St. Louis, but suffered an injury to his left index finger. The finger is broken but they're not sure how extensive the injury is.

"There's potential there for an issue with his finger," coach Jack Del Rio said. "We'll know more as we get into this."

When Del Rio was asked if Mathis could play with a wrap on it," he said. "That's yet to be determined. It won't be a season ending (injury). What needs to be done if something needs to be done, what ends up being done, there'll be time for all that (to be discussed).

"I'll have a clearer picture once they get a good look. I'll give you more information when I have it. I'd rather not sit here and try and speculate. I just know he's got a finger that's a little bit of an issue."

The key question is whether or not he suffered ligament damage to the finger. If there's ligament damage, surgery might be required.

Even if Mathis, who struggled two weeks ago in Seattle, is able to play, the injury could hinder his effectiveness. And he hasn't made it a secret that he'd like to get a contract extension and he needs a big season to help his bargaining power.

Mathis was spotted by reporters with a wrap on his left hand Monday, but he quickly departed the locker room without commenting. He said Sunday the injury wouldn't keep him out of action.

The Jaguars are entering their bye week and won't play again until they go to Tennessee in two weeks on Nov. 1.

The quad injury lingered much of the 2007 season and he also missed two games with a groin injury. He wound up with only one interception although he was voted a Pro Bowl first alternate.

Last season, he started the first 12 games, but then missed the last four with a knee injury. He had four interceptions before he was injured and has two this season.

Mathis was one of two players to suffer injuries in the 23-20 victory over St. Louis. The other was kick returner Brian Witherspoon, who went out with a hamstring injury.

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