Entering the 2016 season, there were plenty of questions about the Indianapolis Colts’ defense. Who was going to start at inside linebacker? Where was the pass rush going to come from? Who were the depth players going to be? How would Clayton Geathers do as the starting safety? In short, there were a lot of questions about the defense entering camp.
Normally, training camp and preseason help answer the questions about a team, but for the Colts it has just led to even more as they deal with injuries. Consider:
- Starting defensive lineman Henry Anderson spent training camp on the PUP list as he recovers from his torn ACL and was just activated yesterday.
- Starting defensive lineman Kendall Langford suffered a knee injury during training camp and had it scoped, putting him out for several weeks.
- Starting safety Clayton Geathers was injured away from the team this offseason, began camp on the NFI list, and hasn’t practiced since.
- Starting inside linebacker Sio Moore (who was seemingly leading the competition with Nate Irving) suffered a significant hamstring injury in the preseason opener and is week-to-week.
- Starting cornerback Vontae Davis rolled an ankle in practice last week and is now week-to-week, with a report last night saying he could miss the first month of the season.
- Starting cornerback Patrick Robinson suffered a groin injury in Saturday’s game and is day-to-day.
That’s six of eleven starters currently dealing with an injury, and while some are more significant than others you get the point: the defense has been hit hard by injuries. In addition to those starters, other players have been dealing with injuries too; for instance, cornerbacks Darius Butler, Jalil Brown, and D’Joun Smith are all working their way back from an injury right now.
While the hope is that several of the guys mentioned above will be able to return for week one against the Detroit Lions, the fact of the matter remains that team is very thin right now at a number of spots. The good news in all of this could be that younger guys are getting valuable reps and therefore the depth could be better than it otherwise might have been, but there are nevertheless plenty of questions about the Colts defense. While that was the case when they entered camp too, now one new question trumps them all: what is the injury situation? Right now, the answer to that isn’t good for the Colts defense.