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For Colts, Daniel Adongo May Face ‘Make or Break’ Season

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According to Colts.com Media Reporter Steve Andress‘ ongoing series, Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Daniel Adongo is a potential “offseason sleeper” for the team in what may be a make or break offseason.

Dec 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Daniel Adongo warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

General Manager Ryan Grigson took a chance on the raw athleticism of the former South African rugby star in 2013 as a potential hidden diamond in the rough, and hopefully this is the season that Adongo finally puts it all together after missing all of last year’s regular season with a season-ending biceps injury suffered in preseason.

The 6’5, 270 pound Adongo flashes the rare combination of quickness, athleticism, and length for a professional football athlete. It’s just whether he can make that difficult transition to the NFL level from professional rugby star and earn a spot on the Colts 53-man roster, something that Grigson has routinely assured won’t be easy for next season.

The key for Adongo will be staying healthy in preseason and that he makes enough plays and shows enough promise to warrant keeping around in the Colts organization going forward. The good news is that he still has another year of practice squad eligibility for the Colts if need be (via Andress):

"“It’s year three. He needs to stay healthy,” said Grigson. “He needs to make plays in the preseason when he gets his chances, because like I said, it’s not going to be easy to make this team.”“He still has practice squad eligibility, of course,” added Grigson. “That was the one thing about Daniel Adongo. Heck, we can talk about making an award for the practice squad in his honor. He was the type of player in year one, such a credit to him never even playing the sport, who was the MVP of our scout team.”"

Still, Adongo’s “relentlessness” has been unquestioned, and he reportedly has been an asset to the team’s practices and scrimmages when healthy in upping up the overall intensity and energy, even sometimes to the dismay of his teammates (Via Andress):

"“He brought it everyday, incited some riots” Grigson said. “He didn’t let anybody rest on their laurels by any stretch. He brought a tempo that the offensive line had to match, and we like that. Sometimes, in week 14, I know some (offensive) linemen didn’t like it. At the end of the day, I think they were thankful for it, because they’re not going to be playing against some blah, ordinary guy that’s just leaning on them, barely coming off the line of scrimmage when they play on Sunday. It’s all about getting your guys ready, and Daniel is one of those types of guys. So, it’s a big year for him.”“I saw him down in the corner of the endzone (during pre-game warm-ups). I think it was week 16 or maybe the first playoff game,” added Grigson. “Just the quickness and tremendous athleticism and length he brings to the table.”"

There’s no question that Adongo’s has the physical tools to be a success story at the NFL level, it’s just whether he can stay healthy and that it’s all finally able to “click” for him in actual game action.

Adongo’s definitely a feel-good story that many Colts fans have been rooting for over the past few seasons given his unique background. Maybe 2015 is when the team is finally able to fully “unleash the beast“…

Dec 8, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Daniel Adongo (56) warms up before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

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