Colts linebacker Robert Mathis says he's ahead of schedule as he tries to recover from a torn left Achilles' tendon.

The 2013 NFL sacks champion spoke for the first time since the injury Thursday. Mathis had been away from the team, serving a four-game suspension, when he sustained the injury during a private workout in Atlanta.

Mathis says he hopes to be fully recovered in six months, insisting he's a fast healer.

In the meantime, he will try to help "coach" the Colts' defenders.

Mathis set a franchise-record with a league-high 19½ sacks last season. Earlier this week, Mathis agreed to a one-year contract extension that would keep him in Indianapolis through the 2016 season.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL