After tearing ligaments in his left knee late last year, Mathieu has been eased back into the lineup. Sunday, the man known as Honey Badger played 78 of 94 snaps, per Pro Football Focus, his highest percentage of the season. His role increased heavily when Patrick Peterson exited with a concussion.
"I'm getting back into that old Honey Badger thing. Get ready for it. It's coming, man."
Mathieu's teammates have noticed a difference lately, too.
"Yeah, man. You should have seen him in practice," defensive end Calais Campbell said of Mathieu making plays. "He showed us some things this week where I'm like, 'Man, he's baaaaack.'"
"I saw something in his eyes on the sidelines, him out there making those plays when Patrick (Peterson) went down," Fitzgerald said. "He was thrust into a much more active role and was on the field for every single snap. He made some key plays for us, making tackles, pass break-ups, flying around."
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been a scheming magician thus far this season. A healthy Honey Badger would put even more diverse options in his carrying case, which could be scary for the rest of the NFC.