The Indianapolis Colts have made some changes to the starting lineup on the defensive side of the football. According to the Anderson Herald Bulletin’s George Bremer, the Colts will start Hassan Ridgeway at defensive end and Art Jones at defensive tackle.
Ridgeway will get the start in place of the injured Kendall Langford, who was placed on injured reserve yesterday after missing the past few games with a knee injury. Jones will start at defensive tackle in place of Henry Anderson, who is active.
With the latter, the Colts likely want to limit Anderson’s snaps today and bring him back slowly from injury, as he’s missed the past several games with a knee injury. He’s had an injury-plagued season and therefore it’d be best for the Colts to try to get him as close to 100% as they can, where he’d be the most effective. It’s still strange to see Jones getting the start over Anderson when the latter is healthy, but it’s likely due to the team wanting to bring Anderson along slowly.
It’s also strange to see Zach Kerr absent from the starting lineup, as he’s been perhaps the Colts’ best defensive lineman this season. Along the defensive line, however, there are typically a lot of substitutions, so the “starters” aren’t as significant as at some other spots - in other words, I still expect Kerr to see quite a few snaps. If that doesn’t happen then we’ll have some more questions.
It’s a big opportunity for Ridgeway, however, as he’s making his first career NFL start, so it will be interesting to see what the rookie can do with what figures to be an expanded role. Behind Ridgeway, Jones, and David Parry, the Colts will have Anderson, Kerr, and T.Y. McGill to provide depth, so they still have a pretty good defensive line group for today’s game. It will be a huge test as well, as they’re facing one of the league’s top rushing offenses in the Titans.