The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on July 26 with their 90-man roster, which will be cut down to 53 players by the end of the preseason. To pass the time until camp, we're taking a look at every player on the Colts' 90-man roster. Today, we're looking at inside linebacker Nate Irving.
Who is he?
The Colts signed Nate Irving as a free agent last offseason, but much of his 2015 season was spent getting healthy. He suffered a knee injury in 2014 while with the Denver Broncos and the injury was still affecting him last year, which limited his playing time. Later in the year, as he was getting more involved, he suffered a wrist injury that ended his season. Overall, he played in eight games and started two for the Colts last year, recording 14 tackles, a sack, two passes defensed, and a forced fumble. He was originally drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Broncos and spent the first four seasons of his career there, playing in 54 games (starting 12) and recording 104 tackles, two sacks, and two passes defensed. He started the first eight games of the 2014 season for the Broncos before suffering a knee injury.
What is his role?
The departure of Jerrell Freeman this offseason left a significant and noticeable void at inside linebacker, meaning that there is currently an ongoing competition for the spot. Irving is the favorite to win the job, and he received the "lion's share" of reps with the first team this offseason alongside Sio Moore (D'Qwell Jackson missed time with an injury). Irving has lost 30 pounds this offseason and is healthy, meaning it looks like it could be his job to lose (while still acknowledging that it's still very much a competition).
What are his chances?
Irving is the projected favorite to win the starting inside linebacker job for the Colts alongside D'Qwell Jackson.