INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have a potentially high-level pass rusher on their defense, but we have yet to see him in game action.
That could change as soon as this weekend.
The Colts selected Rutgers defensive end Kemoko Turay in the second round of this spring's NFL Draft in the hopes that he could be the next in line of their storied sack artists.
During training camp, Turay missed a bit of time with a knee injury, but he returned to some individual and positional work before camp broke. Now, according to Turay himself, he is back in live team drills.
"I did team today," Turay told Colts.com on Wednesday. "Last time, I was just doing individual. It just felt great to get back and get my feet wet."
So does that mean Turay could possibly make his debut on Saturday in the Colts' third preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers?
"Most definitely, that's the goal — just get my feet wet and get my wind back and everything," Turay said. "Just trying to get familiar with the plays physically since I've been watching mentally."
The Colts have struggled to generate consistent pass rush in recent years — finishing in the bottom half of the league in sacks each of the last three seasons — so they could use Turay's speed and athleticism off the edge.
When Turay has been able to practice, the coaching staff has liked what it's seen. He's not a refined pass rusher by any means, but the upside is certainly all there.
"Yeah, he has been doing a good job. He really has," Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said of Turay on Aug. 2. "He's got great get off, he's got great pad level, and he's got great angles to the quarterback. He's a work in progress, but yeah, he's been doing a really good job. Where he fits in, we're not sure yet, but he's certainly shown that he is what we thought he was."
We won't know for sure if Turay will play on Saturday until shortly before gametime, but everybody involved knows the value of Turay getting game reps under his belt before the beginning of the regular season on Sept. 9.
"(It's) really important for his development," Colts head coach Frank Reich said. "(To) get him worked back up these last couple weeks before the regular season will be really important for him."