Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/4/12
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Coach Mike Mularkey took the blame for keeping veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis on the sideline in Buffalo. Mularkey said Monday he "just made a mistake" by sticking with second-year player Kevin Rutland in a 34-18 loss to the Bills. Rutland got beat for a 51-yard gain on Buffalo's opening drive, which ended with a touchdown, and looked lost on Stevie Johnson's 13-yard TD reception early in the third. Mathis watched both plays from the sideline, confused by being on the bench and convinced he could have made a difference. "This is not to bash anybody. This is not to spark a big, What's going on with Rashean thing,'" said Mathis, who was inactive for three games last month because of a groin injury. "I do have a voice, and this is the little voice I want to be understood. ... I feel good. I feel like I'm in a position to help my team win." Mathis said he "could have a right to act up" since he's a 10-year veteran who has started 129 games. But he took the high road, avoiding any potential conflicts with the team he has played for since being drafted in the second round in 2003. Mularkey, meanwhile, made it clear that Mathis will play more beginning Sunday against the New York Jets (5-7). He might have to since starters Derek Cox (hamstring) and Aaron Ross (calf) are nursing injuries. Mathis played 50 snaps the previous week against Tennessee, after Cox and Ross left the game with injuries. Mularkey gave no real answer when asked why Mathis was seemingly benched against the Bills. "It's nobody's fault but mine," Mularkey said. "I wish I'd him in there earlier. It's not like they were throwing the ball 40 times, but I should have had him in there, in the game, and addressed it with him, knowing he was going to be talked to." Regardless, the way the season has unfolded has Mathis thinking about the possibility of playing his final four games with his hometown team. "I'm not saying I haven't thought about it," Mathis said. "That would be lying. It's just what are you concentrating on. That's the main thing. What I'm concentrating on is what I'm going to do today and then tomorrow and the next. That will allow other things to play out." Mathis signed a one-year deal in March that could be worth up to 5 million. It included a 1 million signing bonus and a 950,000 base salary -- a low-risk deal that protected the team by re-signing a 32-year-old player coming off reconstructive knee surgery. Mathis could have earned the remaining 3.05 million in incentives tied to playing time. But playing just eight snaps against the Bills sure seemed like his days in Jacksonville are numbered. "You've been somewhere for so long you get comfortable," Mathis said. "I've seen Freddy (Taylor) go. I've seen Donovin Darius go. I've seen guys go. I know that's the nature of the business, so I'm not naive. I've seen the best Jaguars in the history of the franchise get let go and go to another team. I'm not naive. It's reality. Michael Jordan went to another team. Who am I? That's just the nature of the business, the nature of sports. "And if you can't face that reality, something is wrong. I can look in the mirror and I can face reality. I'm a logical person. I try to be as real as I can be with myself." For Mathis, who has mostly avoided controversy, his comments proved to be as much popping off as he's done in a decade. "I'm going to do things the right way," said Mathis, who vowed to play somewhere next season. "I tweaked my groin, and I respect the coaches in saying they didn't want me to favor one side over the other. Taking a couple weeks off helped and it made me stronger. I was concentrating on lifting and building my leg stronger, which you don't have time to do if you're practicing every day and taking reps like that, so the rest help. "But it's only so much rest I need. I'm going to leave it at that."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Hit Stick: What is the one sports video game fans need to buy this holiday?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Louisville's Lamar Jackson wins 2016 Heisman Trophy

Carmelo Anthony ‘skeptical’ of new CBA before Thursday deadline

Erik Spoelstra on sitting Hassan Whiteside: ‘This league is for competitors only’

Andrew McCutchen admits trade rumors left him ‘on edge’

Leicester City put up three goals in first 20 minutes against Manchester City

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Houston regent: Lane Kiffin ‘was not a safe hire’

Adam Jones takes a shot at Terrelle Pryor

Jeff Fisher, Les Snead deny ‘toxic’ relationship reports

‘Field of Dreams’ 24-diamond complex clears final hurdle, will build on site from film

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Winners, losers and what is still pending from baseball's 2016 Winter Meetings

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 14

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners, losers and what is still pending from the 2016 Winter Meetings

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker