Colts: Insider’s assessment of Kemoko Turay could change entire D-Line
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts‘ defense might have to carry the team for the first few games of the season in light of the devastating injuries to the offense.
As fans know, Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson both underwent foot surgery, and their expected timetable for return is between 5-12 weeks.
Speaking of injuries, a player who’s recovering from a catastrophic ankle injury that limited his previous two seasons with the Colts is stealing the spotlight at training camp.
We’re talking about Kemoko Turay. While giving his assessment of Colts training camp, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero had a glowing review of Turay, going as far as to say that the former second-round pick “has been virtually unblockable on the field.”
Make no mistake about, it folks: Turay becoming the player Indianapolis thought they drafted three years ago would change the entire complexion of the defensive line.
Kemoko Turay’s reported progress is massive news for the Colts.
Turay’s story so far is utterly bizarre. As a rookie, he appeared in 14 games, playing 37% of the defensive snaps. In that limited playing time, he tallied 15 tackles, four sacks, 13 QB hits, 19 pressures and a forced fumble, leading Indy to believe that he could be its DE of the future.
Unfortunately for Turay, all of that progress came off the rails the following year. In Week 4 against the Chiefs, he suffered a dislocation, a torn deltoid ligament and a fracture ankle while sacking Patrick Mahomes. Turay underwent season-ending surgery, which, if you can believe, wasn’t all that successful and limited his impact after he finally returned last year.
Still feeling the effects of that gruesome ankle injury, Turay went under the knife again this offseason. Based on Pelissero’s report, that operation worked wonders because Turay has been lighting it up over the first two weeks of camp.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but if the Colts have a fully-healthy Turay at their disposal in 2020, their pass rush may not miss a beat after the losses of Justin Houston and Denico Autry.
With DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart commanding attention along the interior, Tyquan Lewis seeming poised for a breakout year, and Kwity Paye looking like a steal at No. 21 overall, Indianapolis could all of a sudden have one of the deepest DL rotations in the league. But that requires everything to “work out.”
The Colts have desperately missed having Turay a part of their defensive line rotation, but that looks like that could change in a big way this season. As long as he keeps this up, the Rutgers product could end up being a difference-maker for Matt Eberflus.