The Indianapolis Colts will be without OLB – Robert Mathis for the first four games of this season, but his presence is already being appreciated.
Mathis was ranked 19th in the NFL top 100 players, which was voted on by the players in the league. The NFL network polled players to see how they ranked their peers, and Mathis was named in the top 20, going into this season. Mathis ranked even higher than his own quarterback, Andrew Luck, who was at the 30th spot.
Mathis had a career year in 2013, totaling a league-high 19.5 sacks and 44 total tackles. Mathis also added eight forced fumbles last year. Much of this production is even more impressive, considering the mounting injuries, and lack of attack from several other spots on the defensive side of the ball.
The Colts face a high hill to climb, by being without Mathis for the first month of the season. Indianapolis must face QB - Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in week one, which will be a tough task without their defensive leader. last season against Denver, Mathis had five tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble.
The Indianapolis defense will be tested early. Mathis will also have to come out swinging hard, if he can try to keep his 19th rank on the top 100 players list.