Good news coming out of Indy today, regarding the nose tackle position for the Colts: Josh Chapman has been working with the first team unit during OTAs, per defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. George Bremer (a must follow for Colts fans) had the news on twitter today:
Biggest news from #Colts DC Greg Manusky, NT Josh Chapman has been working with the first unit.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) May 11, 2013
Chapman was the team's 5th round draft pick last year out of Alabama, but he didn't see the field at all in his first year due to a torn ACL that he suffered at 'Bama, which he played through to help the Crimson Tide win a National Championship. Due to the injury, however, he started the 2012 season on the PUP list, and when the time came for the Colts to make a decision on him, they decided to place him on IR for the remainder of the season.
Chapman talked to Craig Kelley of Colts.com a few weeks ago about how his recovery is coming:
"Physically, I feel good and my mind is right now," said Chapman. "It’s progressing every day, and I listen to the guys in the weight room and training room. I’m getting this (knee) stronger.
"We’re trying to get everything right. The knee is the main point. Your full body has to be working for your knee to be right. Basically, it’s getting everything right. I have the upper body strength back. It’s getting the quad strong and knee strong so I can get my mind off of just trying to play on one knee.
"My mind has registered to play on one knee. I’m trying to revert back to playing on both, letting my mind know the other knee is healthy now. I am basically relearning things. I’m so used to putting so much pressure on my right knee that it’s like, ‘Hey, man, your left knee is fixed now.’ It’s bringing the memory back."
Today, at rookie minicamp, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky gave even more insight into how Chapman's recovery is coming by saying that he has been working with the first team defense during OTAs. This is great news for fans hoping that Chapman is the answer in the middle of the Colts' defensive line. Fans have placed very big expectations on the NT, perhaps expectations that are too high. After all, Chapman is essentially a rookie this year. Can he be the answer? Absolutely, and I think he very well may be. The main issue is health.
And according to what we heard today, it sounds like he is doing pretty well. If Chapman can anchor the defensive line, it makes an already excellent draft class last year that much better for GM Ryan Grigson.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Greg Manusky also added that NT Brandon McKinney is coming along well from his knee surgery in addition to Chapman. McKinney tore his ACL in the preseason last year after impressing in camp. He had followed Chuck Pagano from Baltimore to Indianapolis and was right in the mix for the starting NT spot before he was hurt. The hope is that he can rotate in with Chapman this year. If those two players are healthy, the Colts' nose tackle spot looks A LOT better.