Joe Mathis will not be returning for the Peach Bowl, after already leaving the Washington Huskies to prepare for his NFL career.
On Friday, we wrote about how Joe Mathis appeared to be on course to return from his toe injury, in time for the Peach Bowl against Alabama. However, it turns out this writer was a bit quick on the draw.
As reported by Scout.com’s Jon Ledyard, Mathis has already left the Washington Huskies program. As Ledyard writes, he wants to get a head start on preparing for the NFL combine, as he looks towards his professional football career.
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Understandably, this is a big blow to the Huskies. The senior was the nation’s most productive edge rusher at the time of his injury, and would have provided a significant boost for the playoffs.
However, the reality of the matter is this move from Mathis, probably indicates he wouldn’t have been back in time to face the Crimson Tide. After all, what better platform to audition yourself to NFL teams, than facing the number one team in college football?
Some people may question if the Ontario, California native is actually behind on his recovery, with speculation indicating he has been invited to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. However, it’s worth noting this game does not take place until January 21st, whereas the Peach Bowl is scheduled for December 31st.
The 2017 draft is already being talked up as being particularly deep at the edge defender position. While not as recognized as some of his peers, Mathis figures to get a lot more attention, once he displays his physical and mental skill set at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the combine.
As for the Huskies, they will somehow have to overcome the absence of their top pass rusher, when they face the Crimson Tide. Chris Petersen’s team are currently 14.5 point underdogs at the time of writing.
What is your standout memory, from Mathis’ time at the University of Washington? Further, how does his absence affect your thinking on the Huskies’ chances against Alabama? Share your thoughts in the comments section.