Earlier today, the Indianapolis Colts announced that safety Clayton Geathers was placed on the non-football injury list to open camp, which prompted a lot of questions - namely, what happened?
Geathers didn’t have an existing injury during the offseason program that we knew about, and the NFI designation suggests that he was injured away from the team. Some other media members told me that they saw Geathers from a distance in a walking boot, so the only information we had was that it appeared to be something with his foot.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport provided an update on Geathers’ status, reporting that the safety has a broken bone in his foot and that the Colts are “hopeful” he’ll be back by week one.
That report of the Colts being hopeful for week one makes it seem like Geathers could miss training camp and most (if not all) of the preseason, which would obviously be a big blow - not in the sense that the Colts need him to play but in the sense that Geathers needs to play. He’ll be stepping in as the starting safety alongside Mike Adams this year, and while he spent his rookie season developing toward that role he still could use as much work as possible in camp.
In his absence, rookie T.J. Green could see a larger role than was initially expected. Defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said today that “any pick taken that high in the draft [second round] we would have high expectations for” when talking about Green, and with Geathers out for the time being it could be a good opportunity for Green.