The Colts' best defensive player so far this season has been rookie defensive lineman Henry Anderson, who is among the early candidates to win the defensive player of the year award and has been fantastic, particularly against the run. And now, it appears as if he's injured.
According to 1070 the Fan's Conrad Brunner, Anderson was in a walking boot today at the team's complex, something that Colts.com's Kevin Bowen confirmed in saying that Anderson isn't practicing today. That's obviously not good news. Brunner also noted that cornerback Vontae Davis was in a walking boot, but according to Bowen, the boot must have come off sometime before practice because, though he's not working today, Davis wasn't in a boot.
Through the first four games of the year, Anderson has recorded 21 tackles, a sack, and a pass defensed. He is fourth on the team in tackles, behind only D'Qwell Jackson, Jerrell Freeman, and Mike Adams, and Anderson has proven to have a big impact along an improved defensive line. He also leads all NFL defensive linemen with 14 run stops, according to Pro Football Focus (one more than a guy named J.J. Watt).
On a short week, a player missing "practice" is even more of a reason for concern, as the Colts will play on Thursday night against the Houston Texans. That means that injury situations will be magnified because of the shorter time available for rest, and so any player who is injured is far from a certainty to play this week. That includes Anderson, who doesn't appear to be practicing today but instead has a boot on his foot. We'll hopefully hear more from Chuck Pagano after practice, as Pagano didn't even mention Anderson among the injuries post-game yesterday.
Furthermore, it appears as if Vontae Davis isn't practicing today either and was, at least during part of the day, wearing a boot also. If you were to think of the two defensive players that might be the hardest to lose right now, you could make a strong case for them being Davis and Anderson. The Colts are especially thin at cornerback, with Greg Toler having yet to return from an injured neck, Jalil Brown suffering a groin injury in Sunday's win, and now Vontae Davis sitting out with an apparent injury. That's why the team added Shaun Prater today for depth, but they really need Davis to be healthy. Again, we'll hopefully know more after practice today when Pagano talks.