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Colts 2016 player preview: Outside linebacker Trent Cole

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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 outside linebacker Trent Cole.

Who is he?

Entering the offseason, many people expected the Colts to part ways with Trent Cole for both salary cap and performance reasons, but instead the team opted to bring him back. Granted, he took a paycut to do so, but Cole will once again be back in the mix at outside linebacker for Indianapolis. Cole was signed by the Colts last offseason after spending ten years with the Eagles, and in his career the veteran has recorded 88.5 sacks and 21 forced fumbles. With the Colts last year, however, Cole managed just three sacks and two forced fumbles despite playing in 14 games (starting five). It was tied for the fewest sacks in a season in his career, and there were too many times where he was simply invisible. He finished the season strong, though, as all three of his sacks (and one forced fumble) came in his final five games. The hope, then, is that he’ll be able to translate that strong finish to 2016.

What is his role?

The Colts are desperate for pass rush help wherever they can get it. At this point, it really seems up to Robert Mathis and Trent Cole to provide the bulk of it, in addition to other players such as Erik Walden or Kendall Langford to provide the pass rush. The Colts have a few younger players they hope to develop, but for right now it’s likely Mathis and Cole. So despite his struggles last year, we’ll still see a lot of Trent Cole in 2016, so the Colts are counting on him improving and regaining his form from previous years – or even from the final few weeks of last year.

What are his chances?

He’ll make the roster and see playing time, though his impact while doing so is yet to be determined.