Now that we're one game into the 2013 NFL preseason, the wave of depressing injury news for the Colts is surely to follow.
That starts today with LB Justin Hickman, who was one of several players that were injured in yesterday's game against the Bills. So far, his injury looks like the most severe one.
Chuck Pagano said linebacker Justin Hickman will require surgery on his foot and will likely miss the season— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) August 12, 2013
Hickman had a fairly good game yesterday before he went down, receiving a +2.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in only 23 snaps. It sucks whenever a player is out for the season, and it's made even worse when it turns out that he was playing well.
Hickman has shown that he can play both ILB and OLB, so his loss hurts the Colts depth throughout the entire linebacker corps. Luckily, ILB was one of the deepest positions on paper for the team entering training camp.
Jerrell Freeman and Kavell Conner (who received a +1.3 from PFF) both are at least decent linebackers, so they should be able to pick up the slack from losing Hickman. Kelvin Sheppard had a poor game yesterday, especially in pass coverage, but I'll give him some more time to prove himself.
Hickman's injury really opens up the door for Josh McNary, who has seen time at ILB with the second-team defense throughout camp. Depending on when Pat Angerer returns from the PUP (if he ever does), McNary could be a fill-in player on the active roster. He just needs to come back from his own injury and start playing in the preseason.
Since the Colts just signed ILB Shawn Loiseau to the active roster recently, I don't expect them to bring in a direct replacement for Hickman once he is IR'd. Considering CB Cassius Vaughn also had an MRI last night, I'd bet on the team signing a new cornerback instead.
As of right now, there aren't any reports on Vaughn's condition.