INDIANAPOLIS – The furniture at Robert Mathis' house is now safe.
That wasn't the case for the past month as Mathis had to watch his beloved Colts from home.
"Very tough watching my team. Flipped a couple of sofas here and there," Mathis says with a smile.
"But for the most part, it's all good."
The good part comes from the Colts sitting at 2-2 after dominant performances the past two weeks and now Mathis can experience those games first hand.
It was quite odd though not seeing a helmet inside of No. 98's locker as he addressed the media on Thursday.
"The first day, I'll admit it, it felt a little weird," Mathis says of being an observer at practice.
"I've been here 12 years. I call it home. Got it out of the way and everything's status quo now."
The rehab process has begun for Mathis after his September 11 surgery.
For a man that considers himself a fast healer, Mathis is hoping to beat the estimated six-month recovery time for his Achilles injury (March 11).
As Mathis was working out in Atlanta, he knew the injury was serious once the next step he tried to take felt like walking up a hill.
After coming off an All-Pro 2013 season, Mathis' 2014 could not have gone much worse from a football standpoint.
"I never want anyone else to feel sorry for me, don't want any pity," Mathis says of his suspension and injury. "Long year personally and professionally, but everybody has to fight out of the funk sometimes."
Since returning to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Monday, Mathis has been picking the brain of his neighbor, and fellow veteran, Reggie Wayne.
Last year, it was Wayne who took on the role of player-coach. Now, it's Mathis doing that for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
"Back in the building, but I wish (Mathis) was on the field," Manusky says wistfully. "It's good to see him and good to have him around. He's talking to the young guys, talking to Bjoern (Werner).
"That a guy that's been doing it for so many years. There's some things that he's told me, that he's told the young guys, it's actually very good, what they need to do to get across. Not everybody is Robert, but he understands pass rush. He understands how to practice pass rush and during the game he knows how to pass rush. He's trying to communicate those ways to those players and he's been doing a pretty good job."
Still wearing his No. 98 jersey at practice, Mathis is left to mentor and offer advice to a position he has mastered since entering the NFL back in 2003.
Mathis' tenure in the league has the chance to grow to 14 years after signing an extension earlier this week through the 2016 season.
"They love me. I love them," Mathis says of the Colts.
"Everybody's dream is to start and end in one place. In every sense of the word, that's what they've given me the opportunity (to do). I'm thankful and (will) get back healthy."