INDIANAPOLIS – The next time Colts fans enter Lucas Oil Stadium, they should be expected to see No. 98 flying around.
On Thursday night, Jim Irsay gave another update on Mathis' rehab from an Achilles injury that cost the Colts all-time sack leader the entire 2014 season.
Mathis has now practiced for the past two weeks and his presence in a game is nearing.
"Robert Mathis is really progressing well, really progressing well on his recovery. It's incredibly exciting," Irsay said of Mathis during the telecast of Thursday night's preseason finale.
"I see him in September playing. I see him in this building (Lucas Oil Stadium), in September, playing. With the way his progress is going, I don't see anything slowing him down and you know what a boost that would be."
Under Irsay's timeframe, Mathis should be on the field for the Colts home opener on Monday, September 21, against the New York Jets.
Mathis has been back on the practice field for the past two weeks and earlier this week he met with the media to talk about his progress.
"To put the pads back on and hit somebody for the first time in over a year, it felt good," Mathis said on Tuesday. "Just kind of lets you know that everything is good, intact and ready to move forward.
"No setbacks or any soreness or anything like that. I'm just happy just to be out there."
On Friday afternoon, Chuck Pagano said there's even a chance to have Mathis out there a week from Sunday when the Colts kick off the regular season in Buffalo.
"There's a possibility," Pagano said of Mathis playing in Week One.
"He's been practicing and we are getting him more reps every day. We are increasing the snaps that he takes through the course of practice each day. It started out at five snaps and we are increasing that number. We will increase that number this week and just evaluate how it goes. Rob is doing great...and I know if we left it up to Rob he would be out there in two seconds. But I'm going to make the call on that and protect Rob from Rob and do what's best for the team, do what's best for him."