Not having Robert Mathis around a change for Colts’ Reggie Wayne

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ROBERT MATHIS COLTS

INDIANAPOLIS – When they say no contact, they mean no contact.

Not at the Colts complex, Lucas Oil Stadium, or even right next door. That last one is for Reggie Wayne.

“He’s my neighbor. Not my neighbor around the corner, right next door,” said the Colts receiver of Robert Mathis, who has been suspended by the league four games for violation of their performance enhancers policy. “So how does that work?”

Well, remember that old saying when it came to resolving conflict? Something like that for the next three weeks, when next door neighbors Wayne and Mathis can talk again.

“I’ve got to turn the other cheek. If he’s checking the mail and I’m checking the mail, I’ve got to be one of those neighbors you don’t like, when you speak to them, they don’t speak back,” said Wayne. “But no, I’m not allowed to make any contact with him. We normally go out to eat on Thursday nights, I’ve got nobody to go out to eat with.

“So it’s tough man. It’s something that it’s an adjustment.”

It’s one that won’t end when they can start speaking to each other again come October. Thanks to a torn Achilles tendon suffered in a workout in Atlanta while away from the complex on suspension, the Colts’ sack leader from a year ago will be out the rest of the season.

“You’re going to miss his motor. You’re going to miss his leadership defensively. You’re going to miss his leadership throughout the team,” said Wayne of Mathis. “Rob is always one of the guys once we’re breaking it down after the game or at halftime, 95 percent of the time, it’s Rob. He’s breaking it down with the team. Stuff like that.

“We all know what he brings to the game, but just in this locker room, his presence, he’s second to none.”

Wayne can relate to that after missing the majority of the 2013 season with a torn ACL but he says with Mathis unable to be around the team, period, it can make it a bit more difficult.

“I never experienced watching it on TV, even the week of my surgery which was the next week, I went to Houston, I flew down to Houston. So to a certain degree, I was still there. Rob, I’m sure it’s tough. I was on the sideline and it was tough. At least I was around the guys, at least I was able to be on the sideline and hear guys screaming and yelling.

“Him not being around at all has got to be tough. I’m sure he’s getting it a lot worse than I did.”

Wayne hopes to see him around after the Colts’ game with the Titans on Sept. 28 even though it will just be in the complex and the training room. Until then, the linebacker is MIA.

“I’m not even sure if he’s back. I think he’s had his surgery, I’m not sure. You’re so out of the loop with what’s going on, when you see him, there’s going to be so much catching up to do,” said Wayne.

He just better not catch up for a couple of weeks.