Colts DT and former second-round Tyquan Lewis needs to impress in 2020.
On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts took arguably their biggest step of training camp since padded practices started as head coach Frank Reich implemented close to 30 live plays that were nearly equivalent to regular-season conditions and intensity.
There were many positive takeaways from the simulated game, but perhaps the most telling was the continued emergence of defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis, who has really struggled to develop a name for himself over his first two campaigns in the NFL.
Lewis was one of Indianapolis’ four second-round picks in 2018, and has appeared in just 17 games (six) starts since then. With the 25-year-old entering his third season in the league, it would probably be appropriate to label this a make-or-break year for him.
Since the 2018 Draft, Lewis has been markedly outshined by fellow second-rounders Darius Leonard and Braden Smith, both of whom have established themselves as integral components of the Colts’ defensive and offensive line.
To be fair, the Ohio State product has had terrible luck with injuries the last two seasons. He missed the first half of his rookie year with a foot injury and never really broke into the rotation upon returning. The next year, Lewis sustained an ankle injury that sidelined him for several weeks.
It sounds crazy because of how rare it is, but the former Buckeye actually regressed in Year 2, starting zero games and playing a lesser percentage of the defensive snaps than he did as a rookie. For his career, he’s totaled 18 tackles, two sacks and nine quarterback hits.
Lewis has been filling in for projected starting DT DeForest Buckner, who came over via trade this offseason and has sat out the last few days with a minor hand injury. All reports claim that the former No. 64 overall pick has been playing out of his skin since camp started, so that’s tremendous news for the front seven and for his future in Indy.
If Lewis continues his excellent run of form, he could carve out a significant role on an Indianapolis defensive line that could really use some surprise contributors behind Buckner and Justin Houston.