Indianapolis Colts Robert Mathis Suspended Four Games for PED Violation
UPDATE - May 16th, at 4:40pm
NFLPlayers.com has released a statement from Mathis claiming the positive test was the result of fertility drugs he was taking while he and his wife were trying to conceive a child.
ORIGINAL STORY -
The Indianapolis Colts will be without the cornerstone of their defense for the first four games of the 2014-2015 season, as it was announced today (May 16th, 2014) that Robert Mathis has been suspended for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.
ESPN was the first to report the story saying Mathis will be able to participate in any and all offseason programs along with preseason practices and games, but will not be allowed to participate in the first four regular season games. He will be eligible to return the roster after the September 28th game against division rivals, the Tennessee Titans.
Details on what exactly Mathis had in his system that triggered the violation are scarce at this time, however this does mean the Colts will be without last year's sack leader when they open up the season on September 7th in Denver against Peyton Manning and the Broncos on NBC'sSunday Night Football.Many credit Mathis' strip sack of Manning during the teams' match up last October as a major turning point in that game that ultimately led to the Colts spoiling Manning's first return to Indianapolis with a 39-33 victory.
As a Colts fan, this really bums me out, for lack of a better term. One of the things I've always loved about the organization is that they typically don't carry "problem guys" on the roster. No showboats, no one who puts themselves above the team, just solid football players looking to win a championship. Mathis especially has always been a "team first" kind of guy, quietly becoming a dominant player offenses have grown to fear over the year's despite smaller than your average defensive lineman, or in the case of the past two seasons, linebacker.
With that said, everyone makes mistakes. My hope is that Mathis will accept responsibility for his actions, take his punishment like a man, and come back looking to tear up opposing defenses when he's allowed to return to the field. Based on his actions both on and off the field leading up to today, there's no reason to believe he won't.