The Texans' season already is half finished with six games remaining on the schedule. But there's still hope that Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis can be a part of the home stretch.
The decision on Mathis' participatiion for the rest of the season will be made by next Monday or Tuesday, according to coach Gary Kubiak. That's when the deadline is to either activate or place on the reserve/injured list any player on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
Kubiak doesn't think Mathis is ready to play now, but he wouldn't rule out the second-year player for the season. It was during the Pro Bowl last year that Mathis broke his foot.
"I would say this...If I had to make a decision today off of what I saw last week, I would say no, I don't think he's ready to go," Kubiak said Monday. "But he did make a lot of progress last week, and if he makes that same amount of progress this week, I think that decision would be harder on me. But I think he's still got another step he's got to take."
Asked if Mathis has been following the rehab plan diligently, Kubiak had no doubt.
"He's done everything for Kevin work-wise and stuff," Kubiak said, referring to Kevin Bastin, the Texans' head athletic trainer. "He's been in these meetings. Been a part of what we're doing offensively. I'll have to see where he's at when he's gets thrown into a gameplan situation and practices with everyone else and see exactly where he's at mentally with the group. But physically, he's done all he can do with Kevin, and now we just have to see. But we're running out of time."
Mathis has been working out lightly with the team. Speaking last week, he seemed more optimisitc than Kubiak did today.
"It feels really good," Mathis said last Wednesday after practice. "It's sore after a workout like that going through practice. But other than that, it feels great. I'll go home, ice it again, and when I wake up in the morning everything will be alright."
Catching up in the playbook doesn't seem to be an issue for Mathis, who has attended all of the team meetings during his recovery process.
"I pretty much understand what's going on, the different concepts and things we have," he said. "It's just a matter of time before I put it together and go out there and go do it.
"My foot's at about 75-80 percent. I still have a few more things I need to work out. There are a few more days I need to get out of my system before I'll be at 100 percent. After that, it just comes down to being in football shape." CLICKHERETO SEND AN E-MAIL TO TEXANS INSIDER