Henry Anderson Progressing Well in ACL Rehab, But Colts Cautious with Young Building Block
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson appears to be progressing well in his ACL rehabilitation, having suffered a season-ending knee injury near midseason of this past year.
In fact, his head coach Chuck Pagano recently said that the promising 2nd-year defensive lineman is ahead of schedule:
"Aug 29, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) tackles St. Louis Rams running back Isaiah Pead (24) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports“He’s ahead, but then again, they all want to get out there and he’s done a tremendous job,” said head coach Chuck Pagano on Tuesday. “He feels like and our training staff feels like, coaches are putting eyes on him, watching the trainers putting him through individual (work). He is moving great, now it’s just a matter of when do you make that decision to put him into some live action and actually have him take on a double team. He is going to feel great at some point, and they are going to clear him and make him ready for play.”“But again, confidence-wise, they all when playing that position, until you take on that double-team and feel the weight of 650 to 700 pounds leaning on you, you really don’t know.”"
While optimistic “coach-speak” regarding players should be taken with a grain of salt, it does appear that Anderson is making significant strides in his ongoing ACL rehabilitation:
It’s worth noting that while Anderson has been limited in team drills during training camp, his new defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said he’s already stood out on film:
"“Henry (Anderson) jumps off the tape at you first of all because he’s effort-filled,” said defensive coordinator Ted Monachino on Wednesday. “He’s an effort-filled, tough guy, and he plays with a high football I.Q. all of the time. Hard to trick Henry Anderson.”“You see a guy that at some point is going to become a really, really good player in this league. I think he’s already a fine a player, and he’s going to continue to improve with repetition, time, and added strength and being healthy and all of those things, but what you saw the first time I turned the tape on, is you saw a guy with very high football character. Tough. Rugged. Smart. Effort-filled. Those are the things that you look for.”"
Right now, it’s just a matter of when Anderson will be fully cleared and Monachino can insert him into his freshly implemented defense.
While Anderson may very well be ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, the Colts will likely be overly cautious with their young standout defensive lineman and rightfully so, as he could be a building block for the defense for years to come.
Originally drafted by the Colts in the 3rd round of last year’s NFL Draft, the former Stanford standout starred in Horseshoe Blue, starting the team’s first 9 games and recording 31 tackles and a sack before suffering the season-ending knee injury.
However, that doesn’t paint the entire picture regarding Anderson’s impact, as he was among one of the league’s top run-stuffing 3-4 DE’s.
After all, there’s a reason as to why he was an early season NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
Nevertheless, Anderson’s return to the Colts defense–whenever that may be, will be a significant boost to the team’s starting defensive line. He’s among one of the top young players on the team’s defense and should pick up right where he left off if fully healthy–which appears to be getting closer by the day.