Colts Vontae Davis Could Shadow Sammy Watkins on Sunday
Indianapolis Colts shutdown cornerback Vontae Davis could be utilized differently this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills for seemingly the first time.
With fellow starting cornerback Greg Toler presumably out for Sunday, the Colts could deploy Davis by having him shadow the Bills best wide receiver Sammy Watkins all afternoon:
"“Yeah, it’s a possibility,” answered Manusky when asked of the possibility of having Davis shadow Watkins. “I mean just going into the game, we’re confident with Darius (Butler), D’Joun (Smith), (Sheldon) Pricey, Jalil (Brown), and of course Vontae (Davis). We’ll have those corners up, and we’ll go out there, perform, and play like we have in the preseason games.”"
As you may recall, Watkins was the 4th overall pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 2014 draft and is coming off a productive rookie season in which he caught 65 receptions for 982 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns despite shaky starting quarterback play.
Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis (21) during the third quarter in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Of course, having Davis shadow elite receivers is an idea that was played with earlier in the offseason, but could actually come to fruition on Sunday. Playing almost exclusively as a right cornerback last season, Davis was among the best cornerbacks in all of football last season.
There’s something to be said for the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
However, deploying Davis like other NFL teams do with their shutdown cornerbacks like Darrelle Revis and Patrick Peterson could eventually pay off dividends. That is, against predominantly the other team’s best wide receiver in man coverage, no matter which side of the field.
Perhaps, it runs the risk of getting Davis out of his “lockdown” comfort zone, having to defend unfamiliar parts of the field. Yet on Sunday, it could very help to neutralize one of the Bills truly elite playmakers in Watkins.
Something that figures to bode very well for the defense’s chances of shutting down Buffalo’s offense and ultimately lead to a Colts victory.
Honestly, it’s worth at least trying out, especially with Toler out of action. If Davis isn’t as dominant, then the defense could always return him to his familiar stomping grounds on the right side of the field.
However, this appears to be a shot worth taking given the potential reward and ramifications.
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