Colts' Robert Mathis to miss Broncos' opener

Andy Lyons

The Indianapolis Colts will be without their prolific pass rusher for the Sunday Night Football opener in Denver.

The Indianapolis Colts pass rusher and 2013 All Pro Robert Mathis will miss the first four games of the 2014 NFL season due to suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

And a weird offseason just got weirder for the Colts.

Mathis immediately stated that he failed his PED test in order to increase his fertility as he and his wife attempt to conceive:

"It is difficult for me to address the circumstances surrounding this suspension because they involve very personal medical information, but it is very important to me that my fans, particularly young people, understand what did and did not occur. Like many families, my wife and I faced fertility challenges, and I sought medical assistance. I specifically asked the doctor if the medication he prescribed for me would present a problem for NFL drug testing, and unfortunately, he incorrectly told me that it would not. I made the mistake of not calling the NFL or NFLPA to double check before I took the medication at the end of last season.

The union has worked very closely with me to present all of the facts and medical records for consideration of discipline that does not include a suspension because of the unique facts of my case, but the Commissioner refused the request. I am deeply saddened that this situation will prevent me from contributing to my team for four games, and I regret that I didn't cross check what my doctor told me before I took the medication. I hope that my fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that I am a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union.

The incredible blessing of this very upsetting situation is that, after I took the medication very briefly at the end of last season, we learned that my wife is expecting a baby. We are thrilled that we will be welcoming a new member in several months, but I apologize to my teammates, coaches and Colts fans that I will not be able to contribute to my team for the first four weeks of the 2014 season. I will work extremely hard during that time to stay in top football shape and will be prepared to contribute immediately upon my return."

Tough call for the commissioner there, as providing an exception for Mathis would allow any player to claim something similar.

The timing of the suspension is interesting as the NFL and NFLPA continue talks towards allowing HGH testing and decreasing (or possibly alleviating) the suspension severity of positive marijuana tests.

If upheld (and now it looks to be) this suspension would take Mathis out for the first four games of the season which includes Colts' games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, but most relevantly for our purposes the season opening Sunday Night Football game in Denver against the Broncos.

Mathis had 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in 2013.

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