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Rock Ya-Sin wins final starting spot at cornerback

Ya-Sin is taking starting reps entering into Week 1 game-planning.

NFL: AUG 07 Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the biggest questions remaining on the Indianapolis Colts’ roster heading into Week 1 versus the Seattle Seahawks was who would be the cornerback who started alongside Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Moore. Well, we finally have our answer.

During the media-viewing portion of Monday’s practice, Rock Ya-Sin was the third cornerback in Indy’s starting lineup. After a training camp battle with veteran T.J. Carrie, who usurped the 2019 No. 34 overall pick late in the season, Ya-Sin has earned the nod.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how long the leash is for Ya-Sin, though. As we saw last season, Ya-Sin’s troubling inconsistencies led to Carrie being utilized more often in crucial situations. If the former Temple Owl gets off to a slow start, don’t be surprised if Carrie plays a similar role as we saw in 2020-21.

Ya-Sin will be tested regularly early and often by opposing offenses. He’s the “weak link” of the Colts’ defense. Russell Wilson will surely target Ya-Sin as Seattle tries to scheme either DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett onto him in one-on-one matchups. The Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 also have a potent duo in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. In Week 3, the Tennessee Titans’ dynamic wideouts featuring A.J. Brown and Julio Jones will again be another daunting task for Ya-Sin.

Over this stretch of games, Indianapolis will know if Ya-Sin has taken the necessary leap in Year 3 or not. Now, with the final cornerback spot officially answered, here’s the Colts’ starting defense for Week 1:

Defensive Line = Kwity Paye, Grover Stewart, DeForest Buckner, Tyquan Lewis

Linebacker = Darius Leonard, Bobby Okereke

Cornerback = Xavier Rhodes, Rock Ya-Sin, Kenny Moore

Safety = Julian Blackmon, Khari Willis

How will Ya-Sin fare early in the season? It will be huge to see how he functions in a make-or-break season for the third-year cornerback.