The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that the team has activated starting defensive end Denico Autry from the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list—after the veteran defensive lineman had missed the team’s last two games:
DT/DE Denico Autry has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. pic.twitter.com/2sr1jIwYJG— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 3, 2020
The 30 year old veteran has made a very successful transition to starting defensive end for the Colts this season, leading the defense with a team-high 6.0 sacks to go along with 24 tackles (15 solo) and 7 tackles for loss during 9 games (8 starts).
Of course, having All-Pro DeForest Buckner’s addition in the interior to disrupt and consistently command double teams has certainly helped Autry’s cause this season.
Autry’s return will be big against the Houston Texans on Sunday because the Colts were manhandled in their front seven last weekend against the Tennessee Titans—without either Autry or Buckner in the fold.
Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry rushed for 178 rushing yards (6.6 ypc. avg.) and 3 rushing touchdowns, while the Colts struggled generating pass pressure—with just 1.0 sack.
While Buckner can return to the team on Saturday with no symptoms, should he be unavailable another week, Autry could very well slide back to his old position as the Colts’ starting three-technique defensive tackle—as nose tackle Grover Stewart played out of position last week before switching back to his normal position—as he wasn’t nearly as effective covering for Buckner.
Autry is a much more natural fit at the 3T for the Colts, and his return should be welcomed—regardless of where he ultimately lines up.