This offseason, the Indianapolis Colts signed offensive lineman Ben Heenan, who had been the first overall pick in the Canadian Football League draft in 2012 and who had played very well during his three seasons in the CFL. He was a player who many fans had a ton of excitement for and were eager to see how he would do. Then on Wednesday night, however, during the Colts' fourth practice of training camp, Heenan was injured and, after talking with trainers and walking to the sidelines, Heenan was carted to the locker room.
The Colts had a day off on Thursday so we didn't receive an update, but this morning head coach Chuck Pagano announced that Heenan had suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee that would require surgery and that he will be out 4-6 weeks. That, of course, meant that Heenan would miss the rest of training camp and almost certainly miss the entirety of the preseason, and so the Colts made the decision to waive him with an injury settlement this afternoon. It's the harsh reality of the NFL, and the Colts needed the extra roster spot on their 90-man roster to waive Heenan with the injury settlement and replaced him with lineman Kitt O'Brien.
However, with a player as talented as Heenan and with as much as there is to work with, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Colts bring Heenan back after he gets healthy. Tonight, while talking with Bob Lamey on 1070 the Fan, both head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson acknowledged that it's something they might really do.
"We like Ben," Pagano said, and he noted that if the lineman clears waivers and then once he gets healthy, the Colts really might bring him back. "We'll play it by ear," Pagano added.
Grigson was a little more committed in his answer, as he made it clear that he'd like to bring Heenan back at some point. Grigson was asked if Heenan can still help the Colts somewhere down the road, and Grigson said that, "we think so, and hopefully we can get him back at some point." Grigson noted that Heenan will have to get healthy and that missing camp and preseason will absolutely be a setback for him, but that, "there's enough there that hopefully we can get another crack at him."
Of course, there's a lot that could change between now and whenever Heenan gets healthy, in a month or two. Perhaps the Colts will be in a spot where they're no longer interested in taking that chance, or perhaps Heenan will be claimed or signed by another team. But both Pagano and Grigson made it clear tonight that they are interested in bringing back the young lineman once he gets healthy, and considering how much talent and potential Heenan has, that makes perfect sense.