The Falcons released cornerback Kevin Mathis after he failed his physical on Monday. Mathis was sidelined last season with a broken neck suffered during Week 9 against the Detroit Lions. It was the second major injury for Mathis in the past two seasons, after suffering a knee injury prior to Week 2 in 2005. He is expected to retire.
Last season Mathis appeared in 8 games, recording 20 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble, as a reserve at both safety and cornerback. Mathis has spent the past five seasons with the Falcons. Over that span, he has started 14 games, and appeared in 48, with 6 interceptions, 3 of which he returned for touchdowns.
Mathis was ejected prior to the start of the Falcons 2005 season opener, after getting into a fight with Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter at midfield during warm-ups. He suffered a knee injury the following week in practice. Mathis’s neck injury from 2006 marks the second one of his career. He suffered a neck stinger in 2001, his final year with the New Orleans Saints.
Mathis began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 1997. Over his career, he has appeared in 115 games, starting 54 of them, and has 11 interceptions, 345 tackles, and 4 sacks.