The Indianapolis Colts suffered a significant blow to their defensive line, as rookie defensive end Henry Anderson suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s win against the Denver Broncos and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Monday:
Originally described as a “knee sprain” in the 3rd quarter of Sunday’s game, Anderson left the game and did not return. Following the win, head coach Chuck Pagano described the injury as “pretty significant”, and it looks as though that was foreshadowing for Monday’s unfortunate results.
Nov 2, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Billy Winn (99) recovers a fumble in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Having already lost Arthur Jones to a season-ending ankle injury, the Colts are even more thin at defensive end with Anderson’s loss. It’s a major blow to the team’s run defense, as Anderson was one of the team’s best run stuffers.
According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), Anderson was the 12th best 3-4 defensive end with a +12.6 advanced grade, including a +10.2 in run defense. Simply put, he’ll be a significant loss to the team’s run defense and the defensive line overall.
In his absence, look for rotational defensive lineman Zach Kerr and Billy Winn to assume more reps, while the team could also look to promote defensive end Earl Okine from the practice squad for additional defensive line depth. Kerr played in 16 snaps in Sunday’s win recording 1 tackle, while Winn was apparently a healthy scratch.
That being said, all hope may not be lost along the defensive line. Free agent signing Kendall Langford has been a very solid addition along the defensive line for general manager Ryan Grigson and can make plays. Per ProFootballFocus, the 8th-year veteran is just behind Anderson as the 15th best rated 3-4 defensive end with a +8.7 overall grade, meaning the Colts still have some impact players along the defensive line.
However, as usual, it’s now “Next Man Up!” for the Colts yet again at defensive line, only this time around they’re starting to run thin of impactful bodies.