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Getting Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford back healthy in 2017 would be nice boost for Colts defense

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NFL: International Series-Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Colts defense was terrible. This year, it probably will still be quite bad. But a big key to the defense taking some steps forward lies in the health of two of its best players: Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford.

Anderson tore his ACL midway through his rookie season in 2015 and though he played in eleven games last year it was clear that he wasn’t all the way back. He recently told Colts.com that he wasn’t fully healthy last year and that his knee “was definitely nagging me.”

Meanwhile, Langford missed nine games last year with a knee injury that initially occurred in the preseason. He tried to play on it and wasn’t nearly as effective as he had been the year before, and he wound up on IR midway through the season.

In 2015, Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford both proved to be very good players. In 2016, both players struggled with injury and never really seemed quite right. For the Colts to take steps forward defensively in 2017, then, getting Anderson and Langford back healthy would be huge.

“Those guys are going to play a major role in the success of our defense,” head coach Chuck Pagano said last week, according to Colts.com. “Having them healthy is going to be a huge factor in that.”

The Colts have enough needs on defense as it is that they can’t afford to have two of their better players injured. Chris Ballard has made it clear that he’ll always be looking to upgrade in the trenches on both sides of the ball, so we could still see the Colts make a move or two along the defensive line in the draft - like they did in free agency with the signings of Al Woods and Margus Hunt. But it’s likely that none of those moves will preclude Anderson and Langford from having signifiant and important roles in the defense once they’re back healthy.

While we haven’t heard much about Langford’s recovery, it seems that Anderson at least is doing well. “The knee is starting to get back to normal and I feel 100 percent again,” he told Colts.com. “Definitely excited to be 100 percent going into next year and hopefully get back to where I was my rookie year.”

Getting Anderson and Langford back healthy would give the Colts two good players that really weren’t healthy or playing at the top of their game last year. On a defense that is overall devoid of talent, that would certainly be a welcome addition.