WESTFIELD, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts defensive end Jabaal Sheard has undergone a procedure on his knee that could result in him missing the start of the regular season, head coach Frank Reich told reporters today.
Sheard participated in the Colts’ very first training camp practice July 25 at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind., but experienced some “soreness and swelling” in his knee and has not practiced since.
Reich said today that it’s a “possibility” that Sheard could miss time to start the regular season, but acknowledged it’s too early in the process to look that far ahead with any certainty.
The Colts travel to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in their 2019 season on Sept. 8 — 33 days from today.
“You know, we’re optimistic,” Reich said. “He’s making progress and feeling good. I think we’re more than a week away, so I don’t want to say too much other than to say that if it does (get into the regular season), again, Jabaal’s the kind of guy that you just know he’s the ultimate pro; he’s going to do whatever it takes.
“But because he’s had the procedure on his knee, we’ve just got to take it slow and be cautious and make sure that we have Jabaal for the long haul.”
Sheard, 30, has never missed a game — or a start — in his two seasons with the Colts. He has collected a combined 102 tackles (23 for a loss) with 11.0 sacks, 27 quarterback hits, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his 32 regular season games in Indy, while his 7.6 run stop percentage — plays in which he’s earned a “stop,” or a “loss for the defense,” according to Pro Football Focus — was ranked 11th among all eligible NFL edge defenders in 2018.
The Colts could turn to Al-Quadin Muhammad or even slide Margus Hunt outside from defensive tackle while Sheard works his way back to the field.
Second-year wide receiver Steve Ishmael suffered a knee injury during Monday’s training camp practice, and did not return. He did not participate in Tuesday’s practice, either.
Reich confirmed the injury Tuesday and told reporters “it’s more than just a little tweak.”
“So we’ll have to get the full evaluation on that,” he said.
Ishmael, 24, is one of several receivers vying for one of the final few spots on the depth chart. He originally signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent in May 2018, and in 2018 spent a majority of the season on Indy’s practice squad.
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Ishmael was on the 53-man roster, but was inactive, for the Colts’ Week 8 contest last year against the Oakland Raiders.