After a few days of bad news for the Jaguars, cornerback Rashean Mathis shared some good news on Tuesday.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Mathis said during a stop on the team’s ongoing regional caravan that Dr. James Andrews gave the veteran defensive back clearance to practice on Monday.
Mathis, who signed a one-year deal to stay with the team in March, will participate in next week’s mandatory minicamp.
“I did some jumps and stuff at the Andrews Institute,” Mathis said. “He yanked and pulled on my knee and said everything is looking great, just keep strengthening the knee.
“I’m sure we’re going to take things slow, because we still have a few months before the actual season starts, but he has cleared me to participate with the team.”
Mathis suffered a torn ACL in November, and he has been rehabbing it since surgery to repair the ligament.
“I’ve been doing everything — running, jumping, cutting,” Mathis said. “Everything you do on the football field I’ve been doing. But it’s a different speed once you go against another competitor, and all of the things I’ve been doing on my own, not one-one with a receiver. That’s a big difference, and I understand that.”
He now embarks on his 10th season with the franchise without worrying about the injury.
“I’m definitely not going to be fearful of it,” Mathis said. “Hopefully, no time soon I’ll be cautious of it. If you play cautious you’re going to get hurt. So now it’s just about me strengthening my knee and trusting it. I trust the work that I’ve put in. So when I get on the field I will trust that.”
And the Jaguars will trust him to help prop up a defense that now includes former Giants cornerback Aaron Ross. It’s expected that either Mathis or Ross will win a starting job, and that the loser will be the nickel corner.
In today’s pass-happy NFL, the Jags will need both of them to be healthy and productive.