Despite having ample opportunities to address it in free agency, the Indianapolis Colts’ pass-rushing situation remains a huge concern, even after their first two selections in the NFL Draft.
As we know, Denico Autry, who finished third on the team in sacks (7.5) and QB hits (10) and second in tackles for loss (nine), inked a three-year deal with Tennessee this offseason. On top of that, the Colts have yet to re-sign Justin Houston, who’s still braving the free agent market.
Despite Kwity Paye likely becoming a starter and Dayo Odeyingbo likely to join the DL rotation in October, fans should anticipate the likes of Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay to be heavily relied upon next season.
When it comes to Turay, however, GM Chris Ballard was asked about his status during his pre-draft press conference a few weeks ago. In a shocking disclosure, Ballard revealed Turay underwent a second ankle surgery this offseason, indicating he never fully recovered from his first operation.
The Colts are confident that Turay will be cleared for full contact by June, which tell us they’re banking on him to enjoy a bounce-back campaign.
Can Colts bank on a rebound season from Kemoko Turay?
It’s troubling to hear that Turay’s initial operation wasn’t successful, but it thankfully doesn’t appear to have a chance at jeopardizing his future.
The 2018 second-round pick returned from the physically unable to perform list in mid-November of last season, and the minimal impact he made upon returning can be attributed to the fact that he was still hobbled by his ankle.
Fans in Indianapolis have been chomping at the bit for Turay to make his presence felt on the defensive line, and this update suggests we could see him at full strength by training camp. That would serve as a huge boost to the Colts’ pass rush, which looks like a real weakness right now.
Though he had limited opportunities, Turay showed incredible promise as a rookie. In 14 games (three starts), he tallied 15 tackles, four sacks, 13 quarterback hits, 19 pressures, and one forced fumble while playing just 37% of the defensive snaps.
The Rutgers product picked up right where he left off entering Year 2, compiling five tackles, 1.5 sacks, five QB hits and seven pressures in limited action before suffering that gruesome ankle injury in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s been all downhill for Turay since then, but there appears to be a light at the end of this dark, tumultuous tunnel for the young pass rusher. We’re not going to hold our breath that he’ll be a world-beater from Day 1, but him being 100% healthy would be immense for the Colts’ defensive front.