The Indianapolis Colts may have to look for new ways to put pressure on the opposing quarterback to start the new 2014 NFL season. According to various reports, the team will be without stud pass rusher Robert Mathis, who has reportedly violated the league’s substance abuse policy and will be suspended for the season’s first four games.

Mathis will be allowed to practice with the team in camp and will be able to play in all of their preseason games, but will not be able to return to the field until week five of the 2014 regular season.

Per reports, Mathis tested positive for a fertility drug called Clomid, which is a substance that is currently banned by the league.

Mathis made a public announcement apologizing to his fans and the Colts, explaining that he used the drug to help he and his wife could get pregnant – which they successfully accomplished.

It’s a controversial happening, but Mathis still consumed a banned product, and will likely be forced to serve his four game ban, despite a potential appeal.

While the loss of Mathis for any amount of time is bad news for Indy’s still transitioning 3-4 defense, it also means there could be a severe lack of depth and productivity at outside linebacker. With Mathis out of the picture to start the season, the Colts are expected to start second-year rush linebacker Bjoern Werner opposite of their other starter, Erik Walden.

Considering Mathis registered an impressive 19.5 sacks in 2013 – his first season in Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 system, Werner has some mighty big shoes to fill. Werner ran hot and cold as a rookie in 2013, registering just 2.5 sacks and looking somewhat uncomfortable on the outside in 13 games of action.

For Indy to not miss a beat, he’ll need to get stronger and more consistent on the edge.

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