Defensive Line Depth An Unknown Heading Into Training Camp

Intro: Perhaps the two most important injuries for the Colts going into this year’s Training Camp reside on the defensive line. How will depth play out among that group?

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INDIANAPOLIS – They were the marquee injuries for the Colts defense in 2015.

And with the calendar now approaching the second half of 2016, they are once again at the forefront of fans' minds.

When will the Colts have the services of Henry Anderson and Arthur Jones?

Anderson's rehab, as expected, has brought the start of the regular season in jeopardy.

Last week, Owner & CEO Jim Irsay said Anderson might not be ready for Week One. Anderson tore his ACL back on Nov. 8, 2015.

A return for this year's season opener would be around 10 months from suffering the season-ending injury, something you just don't often see from 300-pound guys playing in the trenches.

In 2015, Anderson showed how bright of an outlook he has at the professional level.

The Colts are taking that into consideration in trying not to rush back a linchpin of their defensive future.

"It makes no sense to get Henry out there at 80 (percent)," Ryan Grigson told Dan Dakich on 1070 The Fan last week. "You want him out there at 100.

"It takes a while for a knee. We don't want to rush it, but if anyone is going to beat the odds, he can shrink that curve down more than the next guy."

For Jones, the hope is to have him available during Training Camp.

It's been an adversity filled rehab for Jones, after a preseason ankle injury in 2015 brought to a halt his second season in Indianapolis.

A pair of rolled up ankle injuries have kept Jones off the field for more than half of his two seasons with the Colts.

Grigson admires the work ethic in Jones' rehab, but knows the Colts need to start seeing on-the-field returns.

"He's working his tail off," Grigson says of Jones. "I know that for a fact. But you have to get out there, you have to produce and earn your pay."

If the Colts can get healthy campaigns out of Anderson and Jones, that group might just be Indy's deepest (on either side of the ball).

Last season, the Colts knew they had to address the defensive line.

They did that with Anderson, David Parry starting 16 games, being supported by guys like Zach Kerr and T.Y. McGill offering much needed depth.

Kendall Langford's presence led the group.

With fourth-round pick Hassan Ridgeway joining the bunch in 2016, Grigson is pleased with the quality in the defensive trenches, something that kept the Colts afloat down the stretch last season.

"That's a position group you should feel like you need to bolster at any point in time," Grigson says of the defensive line. "It's such a key element to success in this league."

"We have some guys that we have added who have done some really good things this offseason, can add some different skillsets."

To listen to Grigson's entire interview with Dan Dakich on 1070 The Fan, click here.

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