Despite coming off a dominating performance against the Jaguars on Sunday, the Colts defense was hit with some tough news on Monday. Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner will missed 4-6 weeks because of a torn planter fascia muscle in his foot.
It's not clear when Werner sustained the injury, but, regardless, it comes at a bad time.
Werner had struggled since training camp making the transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker. When he's been given chances to rush the passer from a three-technique stance (hand on the ground, like a DE), Werner's been explosive off the line, providing the Colts with a much-needed pass rush boost. When Werner has rushed standing up, or dropped into coverage, he's been less-than-stellar.
For him to miss five or six games is a big blow to his development. It basically means the coaches can forget about him becoming a reliable 3-4 linebacker this year. When he returns, it's most likely that Werner will be used as a DE only in nickel packages.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano told the media today that Cam Johnson will fill Werner's role for the time being. Johnson was acquired via a trade with the 49ers just prior to the start of the 2013 regular season.