INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis said he came back from the bye week refreshed, ready to help pick up the void left in the pass rush left by rookie defensive tackle Henry Anderson, who is out for the year with a knee injury.
"That's a big blow to our defense, to our team in general," said Mathis of Anderson. "I wouldn't necessarily say anybody has to step up. Just do your job. It's next man up. It really is that. Everybody's here for a reason and expected to do a job."
Mathis has seen his snaps more than double over the past three games, leading to 3 sacks in that span:
Percentage of Defensive Snaps Played by Robert Mathis
Week 6 vs. Patriots - 26%
Week 7 vs. Saints - 59% (1 sack)
Week 8 @ Panthers - 72% (2 sacks)
Week 9 vs. Broncos - 60%
Week 10 - BYE
For the 34-year-old franchise leader in sacks, he liked where the bye week fell for him during this season back from a ruptured Achilles.
"You always want the bye week between weeks 7 through 9 or 10," said Mathis. "I think it kind of fell in the perfect spot for us, able to recharge and get away for a little bit. Get ready for the homestretch."
That begins with a trip to Atlanta, where Mathis has purchased 60 tickets for friends and family to come watch him play at the Georgia Dome, in his hometown. The Falcons are 11th in the league in sacks allowed but in their last two games, losses to Tampa Bay and San Francisco, quarterback Matt Ryan has been hit 17 times.
"We have to be on our A-game," said Mathis. "Matty Ice, he's one of the top quarterbacks in this league. We can't let him beat us."
Mathis will play a big part in trying to make sure that doesn't happen Sunday.