Colts: Potential key return after bye week is someone Indy fans have forgotten about

Colts DE Kemoko Turay (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Colts DE Kemoko Turay (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

A forgotten key player on the Colts could return after the Week 7 bye.

While the Indianapolis Colts have been fortunate enough to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak up until this point in the season, the same cannot be said on the injury front as a multitude of key players have gone down. The likes of running back Marlon Mack and safety Malik Hooker, both of whom are out for the season, served as crushing losses right out of the gate.

We don’t want to go through the complete laundry list of injuries simply because it’s so long, but the number grows astronomically when you consider players — like Darius Leonard, Rock Ya-Sin Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell, to name a few — who have faced multiple-week stints on the sidelines.

Fortunately for Indianapolis, their upcoming bye comes at a perfect time. Not only will it give the coaching staff enough time to address concerns on both sides of the ball, but it will serve as an extra week for injured players to recover and potentially return in Week 8.

One player who falls under that category is actually somebody who fans probably forgot about considering that he’s been shelved for the entire season so far. Per head coach Frank Reich, touted edge rusher Kemoko Turay could be on the field when the Colts take on Detroit in Week 8.

"“Making good progress, he’s another guy that I would put in that list. I didn’t mention his name, but making good progress,” Reich told reporters on Monday. “We’ll see after the bye whether he’s ready for Detroit or not. I’m not sure about that yet, but he’s making good progress.”"

Given that Indy’s matchup vs the Lions is about a week and a half way, it makes complete sense why Reich can’t say for sure if Turay will be ready for the game. The 2018 second-round pick started the campaign on the physically unable to perform list as he continues to work his way back from a gruesome ankle injury suffered in Week 5 last season against Kansas City.

NFL rules require players who begin the season on the PUP list to sit out at least the first six games, which means that Week 8 is the earliest possible date Turay can return to the Colts’ struggling defense.

To say that Indianapolis’ D could prove to benefit form adding arguably its fastest rusher off the edge would be an understatement. Turay showed promise in each of his first two NFL seasons, but his star potential was on full display in 2019 before he suffered that devastating ankle injury.

In just four games, the Rutgers product tallied a ridiculous 14 total QB pressures on 69 pass-rushing snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. His pressure percentage was among the highest in the league through the first quarter of the season.

We obviously don’t want Turay to return until he’s fully cleared, but it’s encouraging to think of the spark both he and Darius Leonard, who’s missed the last two games with a groin injury, could provide to the defense, which has surrendered a whopping 63 points and managed a combined three sacks over the last two weeks.