If not for injury, Kwity Paye would’ve had a breakout year this season with the Colts

Former Hendricken player, Kwity Paye, a DE on the Colts during.
Former Hendricken player, Kwity Paye, a DE on the Colts during. /

Kwity Paye is developing nicely in his second year with the Indianapolis Colts but injuries prevented him from a true breakout season.

Entering the 2022 season, Kwity Paye was one of the young guys frequently named as potential breakout players. The 2021 first-round pick was coming off a promising rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts and everyone expected that he would make a big year-two leap. However, much like everything else for the Colts this season, things didn’t necessarily go according to plan for Paye.

Kwity Paye has noticeably improved but he has been impacted by injury this season and that has prevented the young edge rusher from having a true breakout season. Had Paye been healthy all year, he’d arguably be Indy’s best pass rusher, and his league-wide profile may have grown. Even still, Paye is having a nice second season with significant improvement in his production.

Kwity Paye has improved in his second year with Colts

Paye has played in just nine of Indy’s 14 games this season. In those games, Kwity has recorded six sacks, 38 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and 14 total pressures. When Paye started 15 games as a rookie, he only had four sacks, 32 tackles, three tackles for a loss, and 16 total pressures. In six fewer games, Paye has already upped his production in every category except total pressures.

At the time of his first ankle injury, Week 5, Paye was the team’s most consistent pass rusher with three sacks through the first five weeks. However, he was sidelined for three weeks from Weeks 6-8, and again in Weeks 11, 12, and 14. Whenever Paye did return to the field, he made sure his presence was felt. Kwity has had a sack in three of his last four games. He also had at least one tackle for a loss in those three games.

The one game in that span where Paye didn’t record a sack or a tackle for a loss was in Week 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders and he only played 18 snaps before leaving the game with an injury. So it’s clear that when he’s on the field, he is a problem. That’s something that the Colts should be happy about.

Although Kwity Paye didn’t have the kind of second-year breakout that everyone was expecting, he has shown significant improvement as a defensive end and his future in Indianapolis is looking even more promising.