The Indianapolis Colts have managed to finally get back on the right track after a slow start. While Indy is still in postseason contention on the back of some solid defensive performances, this team needs to keep this energy high against a very challenging December and January schedule.
Matt Eberflus has managed to get some quality production out of a unit that has suffered some major injuries in the secondary and has overcome a lack of depth on the defensive line. Their turnaround, combined with Carson Wentz and Jonathan Taylor taking over, has helped the Colts claw their way back to relevancy.
Indianapolis will still likely overhaul the defense next year. The fact that Chris Ballard used his first two draft picks on pass rushers shows a desire to get younger on that side. Contributors will have to do everything in their power to stick around with a solid month of December.
Slip-ups could be fatal, as Ballard has shown a willingness to move off of draft mistakes and veterans that are not game-changers. None of these 3 players can assume they will be back in 2022 if they don’t play well in the last few weeks of the season.
These 3 Colts could end their Indy careers by playing poorly in December.
3. Kemoko Turay
None of Ballard’s second-round edge rushers from the early years of his tenure have panned out. While Ben Banogu can barely get on the field at all, Tyquan Lewis has been saddled with a knee injury at the most inopportune time. With Dayo Odeyingbo back, Turay is seeing his snaps diminish.
While Turay did pile up three sacks in a three-game span earlier in the season, he’s mustered just 12 snaps over the last two games. The Rutgers product needs a lot of luck if he is to get back on the field and warrant Indianapolis taking one last chance on him in 2022.
The Colts might be done with Tyquan Lewis.
With Odeyingbo and Kwity Paye likely installed as the starters for the future, Turay’s best hope for returning to Indy is to record a sack or two in relief of Odeyingbo or Paye. Without it, he’ll just be thrown onto the scrap heap of failed second-round picks.
Turay still has plenty to give to an NFL team that wants to add some speed on the edge. With Mac Jones, Kyler Murray, and Derek Carr all on the schedule in the next few weeks, Eberflus will need contributions from anyone with a pulse to throw them off their game. This may be Turay’s last chance to shine.