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Mathis Suffers Torn MCL, Out for Season

By Mark Solway | September 13th, 2022

Despite a hard-fought win by the Commanders on Sunday, it wasn’t all sunshine. Rookie defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis suffered what appears to be a torn MCL . He will require season-ending surgery and was put on the injury reserve list.

Mathis was chosen 47th overall by Washington in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Mathis was a defensive star at Alabama. He was named a second-team All-American by the AFCA. He was also a team captain. He registered 126 tackles – 16 tackles for loss – and 9.5 sacks during his four-year career.

Tough luck for the Tide rookies lately, as Brian Robinson Jr. is currently sidelined too. He was shot in an armed robbery attempt.

Robinson was placed on the non-football injury list which means that he has to miss the first four games. All recovery reports have been excellent though, and he may return in Week 5.

Jeter Over Suh

Washington signed defensive tackle Donovan Jeter to fill in for Mathis. He is 24 years old and spent time in the Pittsburgh Steelers system.

The Commanders opted not to give veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh a go, who is available. Suh is a five-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, but has always been considered a bit of a problem child. He’s also 35 years old.

Second Guesses

The injury to Mathis does seem to compound some questionable personnel moves that Washington made this past off-season. The Commanders let both Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis leave for greener pastures, both of whom landed on their feet in other cities (Buffalo and Carolina).

Armchair experts all stood up and screamed that at least one of them should have been kept for depth.

It was thought that Settle might command a decent contract upgrade, but he signed a two-year deal with Buffalo worth just $9 million.

It’s pretty safe to assume that Washington would gladly pay that now, especially given the loss of Mathis.

Hindsight is always 20/20.


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