An unfortunate incident involving Indianapolis Colts pass-rush specialist Robert Mathis will cost him the first four games of the 2014-15 NFL season. That includes a Week 4 home matchup against the AFC South rival Tennessee Titans.
From ESPN, here was part of Mathis’ statement to explain a positive test for performance-enhancing substance:
"“It is difficult for me to address the circumstances surrounding this suspension because they involve very personal medical information, but it is very important to me that my fans, particularly young people, understand what did and did not occur. Like many families, my wife and I faced fertility challenges, and I sought medical assistance. 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. I made the mistake of not calling the NFL or NFLPA to double-check before I took the medication at the end of last seasonThe 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. I am deeply saddened that this situation will prevent me from contributing to my team for four games, and I regret that I didn’t cross-check what my doctor told me before I took the medication. I hope that my fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that I am a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance-enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union…"
The entire quote is available HERE. Sounds as though it was an honest mistake caused because of not properly educating himself on his medication. Bad advice will cost him Week 1-4, a slate that includes three conference games and two divisional contests.
Mathis finished last season with 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles. Needless to say that this is a major development that could have significant consequences in the AFC South divisional playoff picture. The Titans have a chance to steal a road win against one of their top division rivals. The Titans’ projected offensive tackle tandem is Michael Roos and a competition between Michael Oher vs Taylor Lewan.
The implications are more damning than having to face a division rival. The Colts’ first three games include a trip to the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos, a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and a divisional road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. On what was already a lackluster defense before Mathis was suspended, the Colts could easily find themselves in a 2-2, even 1-3 hole to begin the season.
Don’t get too excited though…the Colts still have Andrew Luck, who’s another year wiser.