INDIANAPOLIS – It's the good (really good) news that came from Chuck Pagano's press conference on Monday.
Lost in the shuffle of the injuries at the backend of the Colts' defense right now, there's a promising sign coming to the front of that unit.
Henry Anderson has been removed from the PUP list and will begin practicing on Tuesday afternoon.
The Colts have yet to see Anderson in a practice setting this year, but defensive line coach Gary Emanuel likes what his budding defensive end has done in a non-contact setting.
"Coach Emanuel watched a couple of those workouts and thought that (Anderson) looked as better as he's ever been," Chuck Pagano said on Monday.
"Now, it's just a matter of getting him back in one-on-one situations, two-on-one situations and we've got to be smart about that."
Anderson admits that he does feel better than he did last year.
Now playing at a little less than 300 pounds, down from his 2015 playing weight, Anderson also acknowledges that being in an "uncontrolled" setting of engaging opposing blockers is the next, and necessary, step.
"I felt like I reached a point with the trainers that there wasn't really much more that I could be doing without actually hitting people," Anderson said on Monday. "I feel like I'm moving definitely better than I was last year."
Now it's time to put Anderson around other bodies in practice settings.
"It's contact and it's being in an environment that isn't controlled and everything isn't safe," Anderson says of getting back to practice for the first time since tearing his ACL last November.
"I just need to be knocked off balance, have to catch myself, put my leg in a weird position, stuff like that. Hitting people is definitely a big part of that and the fact that I won't be in a controlled environment with the trainers."
The mental aspect of being back to practice will be there for Anderson in completely trusting that knee.
There's also the obvious physical part, of seeing how his knee handles consecutive days of practice, increased repetitions and absorbing of double teams weighing more than 600 pounds---things that can't be simulated during rehab.
If that knee of Anderson responds, the Colts could have a linchpin of their defensive future back for Week One of the regular season.
"We'll see," Anderson said of projecting when he will play again.
"We've got to see how it responds to some of these practices and stuff. Tough to tell right now."
A behind the scenes look at Henry's 2016 photo shoot in the #ColtsPhotoGarage