INDIANAPOLIS — Barkevious Mingo was the latest member of the Indianapolis Colts to play the role of "next man up," starting in place of injured outside linebacker John Simon last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
He played it well, helping the Colts to one of their strongest defensive outings of the 2017 season.
Mingo's efforts didn't go unnoticed by head coach Chuck Pagano.
"He's been productive the last two weeks in John's absence, and he's filled in, not only on defense but special teams," Pagano said.
Production is a big part of it, but the organization also recognizes Mingo's professional approach.
"He's a testament to a guy when you talk about knowing your role and staying in your lane and doing your job," Pagano said. "That's the epitome of what you're looking for in a teammate and a football player."
The linebacker out of LSU, originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns sixth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, has a professional pedigree that can sometimes make a player feel entitled.
Instead, Mingo takes everything in stride and knows the necessary work ethic to not only get on the field but to excel and make a difference once there.
"One play at a time. One day at a time. One meeting at a time. It's that mentality," Mingo said. "Piece by piece we build it. We perfect it. We go out and execute it on game day and the game will be over and we'll see where we're at."
Against Cincinnati, Mingo, who won a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots last season, totaled five tackles, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble on defense.
On special teams he recovered a muffed punt by Bengals returner Alex Erickson, leading to a 29-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal and a 3-3 tie early in the 2nd quarter.
But after a narrow 24-23 road loss, there was no trumpeting of Mingo's individual success after the game.
Now Mingo and his teammates get back on the practice field to prepare for the Houston Texans in an attempt to make up distance in the standings with their AFC South Division rival and build off an improved defensive performance last week.
"We know we have mistakes to clean up, and even if we would have won the game there is always stuff you can get better at, so for us it's just get back here on Wednesday and we've got to fix it," Mingo said. "We've got to get back and get better."