On Tuesday, it was announced that defensive tackle Grover Stewart was being suspended by the NFL for six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. That means the Indianapolis Colts will be without one of their best defenders until Week 14. Stewart is a disruptive force, so it’ll be hard to replace him.
The Colts will likely turn to several players in an attempt to replace Stewart’s production. Who will be apart of that committee of players? Let’s take a look.
Who will start for Colts while Grover Stewart is suspended?
With Stewart suspended, Taven Bryan is currently listed as the starter. He was signed in the offseason by Indianapolis, and has appeared in every game this year, playing 31% of Indy’s defensive snaps. In the first six games, Bryan has been productive, recording 12 tackles, three for a loss, and two sacks. He’ll now see an increased role and will be able to add to those numbers.
Behind Bryan will be second-year defensive tackle Eric Johnson II and rookie Adetomiwa Adebawore. After playing just 126 defensive snaps over 14 games as a rookie, Johnson is already up to 95 defensive snaps, appearing in each of the first six games. He has recorded six tackles, one for a loss, and one quarterback hit on the season.
Adetomiwa Adebawore has only appeared in two games this season, being a healthy scratch for the others. However, everyone is still excited about the fourth-round pick’s future. He’ll now have an opportunity to get some meaningful reps and experience as he develops.
DeForest Buckner is still at the other defensive tackle position and he’ll continue to hold things down without his running mate. While Bryan, Johnson, and Adebawore will likely get the majority of the reps at Stewart’s tackle position, the Colts will also be able to lean on the versatility of Dayo Odeyingbo, who has lined up all across the defensive line.