INDIANAPOLIS – As Reggie Wayne sat in the Colts team meeting room earlier this month, he was the receiver of the shocking news.
Last year, it was Wayne's teammates hearing the news of their leader done for the year.
Now, Wayne sat and listened to Chuck Pagano brace his team with the news that no one saw coming.
Another pillar was lost for the year and now it was up to Wayne and the other Colts veterans to carry the bulk of the leadership.
"You're going to miss his motor. You're going to miss his leadership defensively. You're going to miss his leadership throughout the team," Wayne said a few weeks back.
"Rob is always one of the guys once we're breaking it down after the game or at halftime, 95 percent of the time, it's Rob. We all know what he brings to the game, but just in this locker room, his presence, he's second to none. So it's something that we all are going to have to dig deep and pick it up even more, even offensively. His injury, it affects the whole team so everybody's going to have to step it up a notch."
On Monday afternoon, Wayne and the Colts had some familiar company back in their team meeting room.
When Chuck Pagano addressed the Colts during a meeting team meeting on Monday, the head coach cracked a smile when he glanced up into the crowd.
"(Mathis) always sits in the same seat he's sat in forever, in the upper right hand corner seat. I looked up there and saw his face and saw him sitting there, had to take a double take," Pagano said on Monday.
"It was awesome, awesome to have him back. It's great to have Rob back in the building. Again, his presence alone brings a ton of energy and excitement and enthusiasm to everybody."
Mathis had to resort to Twitter for the past month to communicate, and he continued to be an entertaining follow while commentating during the Colts games.
Now, he will be a part of meetings and Pagano has a few other duties for No. 98.
"Great teammate, assistant coach, locker room patrol, he's got all kinds of assignments," Pagano says with a smile of Mathis' roles. "I've got a whistle for him in my office ready to roll."
"He's got to earn his check somehow."
For the past month, Mathis' locker has sat idle inside the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
There was evidence of some movement on Monday though and that's a welcomed sign to Mathis' teammates.
"It's huge, just to see (Mathis) walking around the building, he belongs here," Andrew Luck said on Monday.
"He's a Colt. He represents what this franchise is all about, so to have him back in the building is a good spirit lifter."