Now that Sheard has had an MRI on his injured knee, it looks like he will be out for a few weeks. Here is who needs to step up if Sheard isn’t ready for the start of the season.
Jabaal Sheard did not have a great start to training camp. He hurt his knee and will be sidelined for a few weeks because of it. The season opener is in doubt for him. Because of that, there will be some players who will need to step up if Sheard can’t start the season healthy.
If Sheard is out, that means Tyquan Lewis and Ben Banogu will get a lot of snaps at defensive end. They will be young and mostly unproven. Lewis showed a lot of potential in the second half of the year after he came back from injury that cost him 8 games.
But it’s not just players on the defensive line that would have to step up. The entire defense behind them would too. Sheard does a good job of generating pass rush. The Colts wanted to improve that anyway, and got Justin Houston. But Darius Leonard can rush too.
Leonard had 7 sacks in his rookie year, and he wants to get 10 this year. His goal is attainable, and would be more so if Sheard misses games because Leonard would have more of a responsibility to rush the passer. He already has some really good moves.
This isn’t the best training camp start for the defense. You never want to see injuries happen, but especially when there isn’t much contact going on. Hopefully Sheard can be ready before the season starts.