INDIANAPOLIS – After steering clear from a serious injury throughout nearly all of Training Camp and the preseason, the Colts finally got bit, in a big, big way.
On Saturday, the Colts placed defensive tackle Arthur Jones on injured reserve, ending his 2015 season.
The ankle injury for Jones came last Saturday, on the opening snap against the Rams. He tried to go another play but couldn't maintain his balance.
There's no denying the significance of losing a player so vital to the Colts hopes in becoming a more consistent run defense unit in 2015.
The news for Jones has to be difficult for the big man to deal with considering he worked this offseason to try and prevent a similar injury.
Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in Week Two of last season, missing the next five games. He would return against Pittsburgh in late October, playing 36 snaps. However, a re-injuring of the ankle sidelined him for the next three weeks.
He would play the final nine games of the season (including the playoffs), but admitted this spring he was playing nowhere near 100 percent.
After the ankle issues last year, Jones trimmed 20 pounds (down to 315) this offseason, in an effort to alleviate extra pressure on his ankles and knees.
A behind the scenes look at Art's 2015 photo shoot in the #ColtsPhotoGarage.
The Colts felt the sting of Jones' loss in the run department last season.
Without Jones on the field, the Colts allowed nearly a yard more per rush, a staggering number when talking about removing just one player from the field.
Looking ahead to 2015 life without Jones, the Colts will rely heavily on Kendall Langford and Henry Anderson.
Langford, a veteran free agent addition in the offseason, has helped spearhead a Colts starting run defense that has controlled the line of scrimmage in preseason matchups with Chicago and St. Louis.
Anderson is the likely candidate to get the first look with the starting defense, after he slid in for Jones last Saturday.
Chuck Pagano liked what Anderson, the Colts third-round pick in 2015, showed in expanded duty with the starting unit.
Anderson, who has put on 15 pounds since being drafted (now up to 305 pounds), has been primarily working as Langford's backup this offseason, but has recently begun playing Jones' position in this scheme.
"I've started taking some reps at the (three-technique) last week and throughout training camp, so I know the position," Anderson said of Jones' normally occupied defensive tackle spot.
"Things happen a little bit quicker the closer to the ball you move, so that's going to be the biggest adjustment."
Without Jones, and with the cut of Josh Chapman on Saturday, Langford is the lone Colts defensive lineman with starting experience in the NFL.