INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts second major defensive line injury of 2015 has hit another indispensable player.
On Monday afternoon, the Colts placed defensive end Henry Anderson on injured reserve after he suffered a significant knee injury during the third quarter of Sunday's win against the Broncos.
Midway through the third quarter, Anderson was rolled up on when teammate Kendall Langford fell into him.
"That one hurt. He was playing really good football for us," Pagano said on Monday.
Anderson has been a vital presence in an improved Colts defensive front in 2015.
When Arthur Jones went down in the preseason, the Colts third-round pick was thrust into starting duty.
The 6-6, 300-pound Anderson has delivered in starting all nine games this season. He has 35 tackles (28 solo) this year with five of those behind the line of scrimmage.
In his rookie campaign, Anderson had been one of the NFL's most disruptive defensive ends even receiving some mention as a potential defensive rookie of the year candidate.
Without Anderson, the Colts will lean on Billy Winn, Zach Kerr and T.Y. McGill to handle the substantial reps now lost.
"Those three guys are more than capable," Pagano said on Monday.
"They have to fill that role and play winning football. They can't just come in and be a body in there. All those guys have ability to play at a high level."
The Colts now have two open spots on their active roster after the team waived cornerback Tony Carter on Monday.
In replacing Carter's spot, rookie cornerback D'Joun Smith is an option. Smith, who is on the injured reserve designated to return list with a knee injury, is eligible to play in the Atlanta game after the bye week (11/22). Smith has been practicing the past two weeks.