Jonathan Newsome Confirms He Was a Healthy Scratch on Sunday


According to the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Jonathan Newsome confirmed on Monday that he was a healthy scratch during the team’s 27-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints:

It’s rather surprising given that the 2nd-year pass rusher led the team in sacks last season with 6.5 sacks in what was nothing short of a very impressive rookie campaign for last year’s 5th round pick out of Ball State.

On the season, in 5 games (1 start), Newsome had 7 tackles and 1 sack before being declared inactive on Sunday.

Oct 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is chased by Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome (91) in the first half during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), Newsome has received a -3.3 overall grade as a 3-4 OLB, which is the worst grade as it stands among all Colts’ outside linebackers. Specifically, Newsome’s pass rush grade of -2.5 has left a lot to be desired.

It shows just how much Newsome is struggling to be a healthy scratch on Sunday for a defense that ranks 29th in the NFL in sacks with just 10 total sacks on the season. The once emerging young pass rusher has clearly hit a wall with his play in year 2 and will have to find a way to push through.

To be fair though, Newsome isn’t alone in his pass rushing struggles, as the defense has struggled generating pass pressure as a whole. Robert Mathis and Kendall Langford are the only defenders with 2 sacks, as no one else has more than 1 sack on the season.

One of the team’s big offseason acquisitions was veteran pass rusher Trent Cole, who hasn’t recorded a sack yet. Right now, one could make a strong argument that it’s either time to fully unleash Mathis, who’s been playing limited snaps to date, or perhaps give a proven backup pass rusher like Sio Moore an extended look on defense.

As for Newsome, all young players experience highs and lows (Just ask Andrew Luck right now). However, it’s how a young player responds to that adversity and continues to work at their craft that truly defines them and can determine future success.

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