INDIANAPOLIS — Yet another Indianapolis Colts defensive starter was placed on Injured Reserve on Tuesday.
One day after No. 2 cornerback Pierre Desir’s season was officially declared over due to a torn pectoral muscle, the team on Tuesday also placed starting outside linebacker John Simon on IR.
Simon suffered an injury to his right shoulder while making a tackle in Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.
In a corresponding move, the Colts on Tuesday signed defensive end Anthony Johnson from their practice squad to the active roster.
Simon was having perhaps the best overall season by a Colts defender going into the team’s Week 7 matchup against the Jaguars in Indianapolis, collecting 38 tackles (six for a loss), three sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown, 12 quarterback hits and one pass defensed over the first six weeks of the season.
But he would suffer a stinger injury in his neck in that game against the Jaguars, and missed the Colts’ next three games as he tried to work his way back onto the field. He was able to return for the Colts’ Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but even then it was evident it might take a while for Simon to get completely back to 100 percent.
“John Simon’s a little nicked up,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Monday in an appearance on 1070 The Fan’s “Colts Roundtable Live.” “He was playing about as good as anybody we had at one point, but he’s been a little nicked up here the last few weeks.”
The Colts will look for two players in particular to step up in Simon’s absence over the last four games of the season: Barkevious Mingo and Tarell Basham.
Mingo, a former first-round (sixth overall) pick of the Cleveland Browns, has 25 tackles (two for a loss) with five quarterback hits, two passes defensed and one forced fumble and one fumble recovery apiece on the season.
Basham, the Colts’ third-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, has four tackles with two sacks on the season, including a sack with his first-career forced fumble in last Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.
“We’re starting to see the flashes of pass rush from Tarell Basham,” Ballard said. “I’m proud of him, because he’s working. He knows for a pass rusher in this league it takes a lot of work against these good tackles, and he’s really done a nice job here over the last month working and perfecting his craft and getting better at his craft.”
Johnson, 6-2, 295 pounds, was signed to the Colts’ practice squad on Nov. 7. He has played in 18 career games (one start) and tallied 13 tackles (seven solo) and one fumble recovery in his time with the New York Jets (2016-17), New England Patriots (2016), Washington Redskins (2015) and Miami Dolphins (2014).
Johnson was originally signed by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent on May 12, 2014 out of LSU.