Earlier today, we talked about the report from the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder saying that it seems like the injury to safety Delano Howell is case for concern. Holder, as well as other media, gathered this after talking with Colts general manager Ryan Grigson. It's crucial to remember that everything surrounding this is uncertainty and speculation, and while there are legitimate concerns, there's still much speculation. Because of this, I thought it would be helpful for you to be able to read the exact comments from several Colts, including Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and a couple of players regarding Howell and the safety position.
Here are Grigson's comments about Howell:
"Like I said, anytime there's anything with the neck, you've got to cross your T's and dot your I's. That's a serious area. It's something that's been nagging him. He's going through a whole entire process of seeing multiple people so he can formulate that opinion with his wife and his agent and himself and us and Chuck (Pagano) and all of us, and make the decision that's best for Delano. Hopefully, he's seeing another specialist so he can pinpoint what the problem is exactly and hopefully he's back out there playing for us soon."
Grigson wouldn't say specifically how long the Colts expect Howell to be out or how serious the injury is (I don't even think he really knows at this point yet), but when asked how serious the injury is, Grigson said:
"Like I said, we are just going to keep getting the information as it comes. He's a guy that we hope is back but like I said, it's a neck. I can't make judgments on a neck. That's what the doctors are for. That's why he's getting multiple opinions because you want to make sure that everybody has their opinion going in the same direction because it's not like you're dealing with a fingernail here. You're dealing with your neck and that's something that has to be really looked at with a fine tooth comb. No decisions have been made. There's no feeling one way or another where he's going to be here or not be here. We want him to see as many people as possible so he's comfortable with going in one of those directions. We'll see. We'll have some information here hopefully by the end of the week."
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who also suffered a season-ending neck injury last year, was asked about Howell's neck injury, and he was first asked what goes through your mind when it gets to seeing a specialist:
"At first you've got to think about family, the rest of your life and what you're doing. You know, if you've got kids or not. You start thinking about it. It's a whole long process. Dealing with this game, the neck is very serious. It's just the start for him right now and hopefully it comes out to the best."
Asked whether he has talked to Howell yet about it, Bradshaw said:
"He asked me about it the other day, about my neck, and I just told him it's a serious situation and to take his time with the decisions he makes and that other guys make for him. My heart goes out to him and hopefully, like I said, nothing's there."
Obviously, there's not a ton of info out there regarding Delano Howell's status other than that his status is uncertain. There has been concern ever since he began missing practice with a neck injury, which is also what caused him to be placed on IR last year. That concern is even greater now, with Grigson acknowledging that Howell is seeing specialists. Obviously, the most important thing is that Howell gets the attention that he needs, and hopefully it doesn't turn out to be that serious.
While that's the most important thing, there's also implications on the football field, and it means that the Colts might be down a safety - potentially one who was going to start - if Howell misses significant time. Ryan Grigson also talked about the safeties the Colts have, in particular Mike Adams and whether he now has the edge at the safety position:
"Just to be blunt, if you're out here, you're going to have more of an edge than the guy that's not out here. That's just the way this league works. It sounds cruel but sometimes the best ability is availability as they say, and that's just the way this league works. It's not just Mike Adams. We have some guys over there that are starting to emerge and doing some really good things and playing good football. If they keep showing up in these preseason games, I hope they make it hard on us to see who starts."
Head coach Chuck Pagano wouldn't give insight as to who the favorite is right now, but he was asked about the safety position and here's what he said:
"We'll keep plugging away and we've got time. We've got two preseason games to go, got a full week of practice this week and a few days next week. Between Sergio (Brown), Mike (Adams), Colt (Anderson), Dewey (McDonald), LaRon (Landry), we've got a bunch of guys back there still competing. We feel like we're in a good position."
Mike Adams, who we all know really is the favorite if Howell is out, was asked how Howell's injury affects him:
"It doesn't impact me. My approach is the same. Compete every day and as far as I know, I'm still competing to be out there. I don't even know his situation but I'm just out here every day working hard."
Asked if Howell's injury adds any pressure on him, Adams replied:
"Pressure? What's that? As far as I know, pressure busts pipes. I'm not worried about any pressure or anything. Like I said, I was here to compete anyway. I wasn't given the job. I was here to compete for a job. I don't look at it as a blessing for me, whatever happened or whatever's going on. As far as I know, Colt's (Anderson) still playing well, Sergio's (Brown) still playing well and I'm playing well. We're just trying to make it hard for the coaches. They have to make a decision at the end of the day."
Obviously, we'll have more as it becomes available surrounding this situation, but since a lot of it is speculation, I thought it'd be best to just give you the exact comments from several Colts. And of course, we do need to keep in mind that it's just speculation, but there is certainly reason for concern surrounding Delano Howell's neck issues.