10 Players to Watch at Colts Training Camp
6. Nate Irving, Inside Linebacker
With starter Jerrell Freeman‘s departure to the Chicago Bears in free agency, the Colts appear to have a 2-man competition to see who will start alongside veteran D’Qwell Jackson at inside linebacker with Nate Irving and Sio Moore as the leading contenders.
Having signed a 3-year, $9.25M contract with the Colts last offseason, Irving appears to be the early favorite as he got the majority of reps in OTA’s.
Having always been highly regarded for his run-stopping prowess, Irving has shed 20 pounds this offseason to become lighter and quicker on his feet, which should theoretically help his coverage ability.
Still, the 28 year old has missed two consecutive seasons with season-ending injuries, so his durability remains a bit of a concern going forward.
Replacing Freeman won’t be an easy task, who was among the Colts best defensive players this past season. Nevertheless, the Colts appear to really like Irving–having signed him for a reason an offseason ago. He could be an impact starter for the Colts defense if fully healthy and remains a player to watch.