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Who Were The Colts “Iron Men” In 2016?

Posted Jan 9, 2017

Intro: Outside of the continued durability of the Colts three specialists, they had 16 position players see action in every game this season. Who were the “Iron Men” in 2016?


INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts saw the health of their team improve in 2016.

More than half of the Colts roster this past season played in at least 14 games.

One of the most durable positions in 2016 for the Colts was the running back group. After years of significant attrition for that unit, the quartet of Frank Gore, Robert Turbin, Jordan Todman and Josh Ferguson missed just one combined game in 2016.

Here’s a look at the Colts 16 (non-specialists) position players who didn’t miss a game all year:

  • OLB-Akeem Ayers: The Colts signed Ayers five days before the season opener. Ayers came to Indy and was a reserve edge presence. A 2011 second-round pick, Ayers is the most experienced outside linebacker under contract for 2017.

  • LT-Anthony Castonzo: Outside of three missed games last year, Castonzo has been the team’s starting left tackle in every game since 2012. Castonzo was very sound in the latter stages of the season.

  • TE-Jack Doyle: Doyle enters free agency having started 14 games and finishing the season as the team’s second-leading receiver (59 catches for 584 yards and 5 touchdowns). In four seasons with the Colts, Doyle has yet to miss a game due to injury.

  • S-Matthias Farley: Like Ayers, the Colts brought Farley in after the final roster cut down. Farley, a 2016 undrafted free agent of the Cardinals, primarily played special teams during his rookie campaign.

  • RB-Josh Ferguson: Another undrafted free agent, Ferguson went from playing a decent amount on offense through early October, to seeing just 24 snaps of offensive action rest of the season. After dropping three passes in Weeks Four and Five, the Colts kept Ferguson on special teams for virtually the rest of the year.

  • RB-Frank Gore: Gore has started 92 straight games (the next longest streak for an NFL running back is 21 games) and hasn’t missed a game since 2010. The incredible durability of Gore matched his productivity this past season to the tune of a 1,000-yard campaign.

  • WR-T.Y. Hilton: Despite various injuries popping up over the year, Hilton led the NFL in receiving (1,445 yards), while not missing a game. When Hilton entered the NFL many were concerned about his durability. Hilton’s missed just two games in five NFL seasons.

  • ILB-Edwin Jackson: After joining the Colts practice squad late in 2015, Jackson’s stock rose considerably in his second NFL season. Jackson went from a special teams guy during the first half of the season to starting the final eight games of the year.

  • C-Ryan Kelly: Availability at the center position has been lacking for Andrew Luck. Kelly solved that in 2016. The 18th overall pick last year played more than 600 snaps without allowing a sack.

  • ILB-Josh McNary: With so much change at inside linebacker in 2016, even McNary got three starts. McNary, who was a core special teamer all season, was eventually replaced on defense by Edwin Jackson.

  • ILB-Antonio Morrison: The rookie fourth-round pick started the final four games of the season following D’Qwell Jackson’s suspension. After not playing much during the middle part of the season, Morrison had a terrific opportunity for ample game action over the season’s final quarter.

  • NT-David Parry: A 2015 fifth-round pick, Parry has played and started in every game as a pro. With so many injuries along the defensive front, the Colts should be grateful to have Parry’s durability.

  • DT-Hassan Ridgeway: The fourth-round rookie started a handful of games for the Colts in 2016. Ridgeway is a clear part of the defensive future in Indianapolis. It’s a unit with some question marks regarding the starting spots going into 2017.

  • TE-Erik Swoope: What a first full season of playing football for Swoope. The former basketball player had 15 catches for 297 yards (19.8 yards per catch) and 1 touchdown. The Colts have made Swoope a priority to bring back as a restricted free agent.

  • RB-Jordan Todman: Todman was this team’s kick returner once Quan Bray went on injured reserve in mid-October. Both Robert Turbin and Todman, two of the three backups to Frank Gore this season, now enter free agency.

  • OLB-Erik Walden: What a time for a career-year. Walden had that in 2016 with 11.0 sacks at the age of 31. Walden could see the most market demand of any of the Colts free agents in 2017.
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