Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart has officially returned to the team’s active roster after serving a 6-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs:
#Colts DT Grover Stewart via his IG story. I’ll take a wild guess and assume that choosing Kevin Gates’ “Ready For War” as his background music is not a coincidence.— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) December 4, 2023
Stewart can officially rejoin the Colts’ active roster today after serving a six-game PED suspension. pic.twitter.com/8XCsYgboow
His return should be a significant boost to a Colts run defense that has really struggled in his extended absence.
During Stewart’s 6-game suspension, opposing teams were averaging over 157 total rushing yards and 4.7 yards per carry. With him, the Colts were allowing around 113 total rushing yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. Meaning, there’s a significant upgrade when ‘Big Grove’ is active, healthy, and on the field:
Grover Stewart is now back with the #Colts after serving his PEDs suspension.— Dominic Miranda (@DomMirandaTV) December 4, 2023
Shane Steichen: “His presence will be huge. Him being back will be big for us these next 5 games.”
In the interim period, the Colts have been relying on veteran Taven Bryan and 2nd-year pro Eric Johnson II, but Bryan is much more of a natural pass rusher and while Johnson has shown some initial promise as a rotational interior defender, he isn’t Stewart as a run-stuffer.
Playing in a contract year, Stewart’s value has clearly been demonstrated in his absence, and if the Colts are convinced that his one-time PED violation was simply an honest mistake, then he should be in-line for a lucrative multi-year contract extension.
Along with All-Pro DeForest Buckner, the Colts have one of the top defensive tackle tandems in all of football right now. Stewart’s return should help transform the Colts from having a relatively weak run defense to at least being around a league average unit again.
Welcome back, Big Grove!