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Colts Mailbag: How Is The Rehab Coming Along For Robert Mathis?

Intro: This week, mailbag readers inquire about the running back outlook heading into next season, the possibility of adding a wide receiver and draft needs.


INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.

A side note for this week, we got a few questions about autograph requests. All of that information can be found here.

Here is this week's collection:Blake Mcgill (Louisville, KY)

First of all good season. Strive for a better one next year I need more colts Super Bowl hats and shirts. My question is are there any updates on Robert Mathis I haven't heard anything since he was out for the season at the beginning of the year. He was a key factor for the defense in past years and after a season like last years we could sure use him.

Bowen: At his press conference last Friday, Ryan Grigson offered this update on Mathis' rehab from the Achilles injury he suffered in September: "He's still in recovery," Grigson said of Mathis. "He's a freak and you hope that he has an athletic genetic freak type of recovery so that he's ready day one of Training Camp. But that information is not clear yet or a timeline is not there because it's a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we'll be able to have some information on that." For a guy who's game is built from that elite speed off the ball, Mathis' Achilles rehab is vital to returning as a productive pass rusher. It sounds like a timeframe for Mathis getting back on the field isn't ready to be set in stone.

George Babcock (Bluffton, IN)

For non-divisional games how are home vs away sites determined? Is it purely random each year?

Bowen: The games against the NFC division should be reversed from the previous time you aligned against that division. So the Colts will travel to Atlanta and Carolina next year and host New Orleans and Tampa Bay. That's reverse from what they did in 2011. Then a formula matches up the rest of the schedule with the Colts hosting the AFC West Champion (Broncos) and plays on the road against the AFC North Champion (Steelers).

Butch Johnson (Norman)

After Stanley Havili's release, I feel the colts have lacked a FB in some formations. I see some great talent in Alabama's Jalston Fowler but he'd cost a 4th round pick o so. I also find Zach Zwinak as an interesting prospect, big FB, capable of blocking, awesome in running on contact and decent in the receiving game even though his injury will cost him to be undrafted (but that could be good for the colts to get a FB and address other positions). Zack Laskey is also a very good blocker and runner but he is obsolete in the receiving game. Tyler Varga and Zach Zenner are also interestin but I just can't see them as useful players in Pep Hamilton's offense. Thoughts?

Bowen: The "true" fullback really has never been a staple of Pep Hamilton's scheme since he came here in 2013. Stanley Havili wasn't the typical bruising, road grading, fullback that people think of in a run-centric scheme. Hamilton's offense is all about versatile parts and Havili was a guy that could catch the ball out of the backfield, allowing you to not be hand-tied when he was on the field. That's why Jack Doyle was such a key player to this offense in 2014. His versatility allowed for the Colts to not make a roster move once it was realized Havili wasn't coming back in 2014 and (linebacker) Mario Harvey didn't pan out as a fullback. It goes back to how useful a pure fullback is to a team who is dressing 46 guys on game day. Doyle can impact the game from the H-back spot, as an in-line tight end, split out as a receiver and on special teams. If the Colts feel that Doyle can handle those roles again next season, then the need isn't there to go find more of a "true" fullback like you mentioned above.

Justin Thomas (Newark, Delaware)

First I have to state, that while I did not want this amazing season to end on this note, to that team in their house, I can only see the positive it was that all of our holes were exposed and showing that we weren't quite ready to take that next step.....That being said, my question, besides upgrading our defense and secondary, can you see indy grabbing a big name WR in the free agent market?

Bowen: The wide receiver group for next season could look much different then what we saw end the 2014 season. Reggie Wayne is contemplating retirement and Hakeem Nicks is a free agent. You know that T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are definitely in the fold for next year but after that is where the questions begin. The free agent coup you probably are looking at will warrant some major money. Do the Colts have that money to spend when you know that T.Y. Hilton's contract is coming up soon? This team has done well in finding young receivers in the past so that route could be the better option than pay a chunk to a top-flight pass catcher, when needs at other spots appear to be more pressing.

Richard Wolford (Tulsa)

Will the team pursue a kicker in the draft? Thank you

Bowen: Richard, I would be surprised if the Colts took a kicker in the draft. Adam Vinatieri is under contract next year. He's obviously your kicker in 2015. Do you really have room to use a draft pick, and then probably a spot on the 53-man roster to carry two kickers? No. I would expect a young kicker to join the Colts throughout the offseason, but when cuts come following the final preseason game, the future Hall of Famer in Vinatieri is going to be the guy.

Mike Lewis (Ohio)

Do you think rookie DE Kelcy Quarles will have a good chance to see the field nest year?

Bowen: The defensive line depth is something to keep an eye on this offseason. The first order of business is what will Cory Redding decide to do with his future. After 12 seasons in the NFL, Redding is faced with the retirement dilemma. He's also a free agent so those two factors must be weighed on in seeing if the Colts will have a key defensive cog back up front in 2015. If Redding retires, that opens up the door for a ton of defensive line steps next season (Redding played 70.5 percent of defensive snaps last season, nearly double that of every other defensive lineman except Ricky Jean Francois). Quarles is a guy that will certainly factor into that depth. The Colts have some young linemen in Montori Hughes/Zach Kerr right behind the starting front line of Redding, Jean Francois and Josh Chapman (Arthur Jones falls into that group as well).

Melanie Jettinghoff (Delphos, Ohio)

Please tell me nothing will change player wise for the Colts team? They are the greatest NFL team out there today!! They are one classy team and showed everyone what Colt strong is and means to them. They can be proud of where they took the team and how far they got into the playoffs this season. You have learned from your mishaps and mistakes and now you can really get to the supper bowl next season guys you made us proud this year congrats to you all and a fine year of playing!! So very proud to be a Colts fan!!

Bowen: Melanie, part of the NFL is about re-tooling your roster each and every offseason. Now, the good news for Colts fans is there aren't too extensive of repairs to be done for the two-time defending AFC South Champions. Roster turnover is inevitable in the NFL and the Colts will address those changes through free agency and the draft. Last year, guys like D'Qwell Jackson and Mike Adams finally experienced the postseason and were named to the Pro Bowl.

Austin Morris (Palm Coast, Florida)

i would like to say great job to players and coaches this season! I know that next season will be a great year as well. will we draft a RB in this coming up draft? Considering trent isn't producing at all, and boom is looking like a #1 RB for the colts. I can't forget about Ahmad with his injury. i personally think Tevin coleman would be the missing key to our offense.he would bring explosiveness we need in the back field. Also since Hakeem and reggie are free agents, will the colts consider resigning Hakeem with the possibility of the retirement of reggie or would the colts draft a player... such as Philip dorsett

Bowen: We got a bunch of running back questions this week and that was before the Colts "mutually parted ways" with position coach David Walker after four seasons. In reading up on the draft, it seems like there are some quality running backs in this year's class, particularly at the top of the board. Now when you say "top of the board" at the running back position, just how high up is that? If you look at recent drafts, some pretty quality backs have fallen to the later rounds because that position doesn't seem to be worthy of a higher pick like it was 10-20 years ago. So having said that, the Colts should be able to find a solid back in the mid rounds, if they want to go that route. First thing is first though, and that means addressing their current personnel at the running back position. What do you do with Trent Richardson now that he's suspended for next year's season opener? Is Ahmad Bradshaw healthy in returning from a fractured fibula and does he warrant a contact (a free agent in 2015)? Where is Vick Ballard in his rehab from a non-contact, season-ending injury, for a second straight season? Is Boom Herron a lead back for an entire regular season? I don't think there's another position on the roster with as much intrigue for the Colts heading into the offseason.

John Linantud (Houston)





Bowen: John, here is a link to the part two flashback with Gino Marchetti

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