INDIANAPOLIS —Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys marked more than 600 days — 601, to be exact — since Jon Bostic last stepped out onto the field for a real football game.
As a member of the Detroit Lions last year, Bostic missed the entire preseason and regular season after suffering a broken foot during a training camp practice, just as he was starting to gain ground on the team's depth chart at inside linebacker.
After sitting out the season and becoming a free agent this offseason, Bostic said he wanted to land with a team where he would not only have the chance to compete for a starting job, but also a defense with a scheme that best fit his abilities.
Enter the Indianapolis Colts.
Bostic signed with the team on April 20, amidst a flurry of other additions to the defensive side of the ball by first-year general manager Chris Ballard, who was a scout in Chicago when the Bears selected Bostic in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Since that time, Bostic has relied upon his familiarity with the Colts' 3-4 defensive scheme under coordinator Ted Monachino to propel himself into a starting position with the regular season just a couple weeks away.
"I've played technically in this defense before, so it's kind of been good for me," Bostic said. "Same scheme, and obviously it's the same coaching tree. So that's definitely helped me a lot."
Bostic's 2017 debut was delayed one week after he underwent finger surgery and missed the team's first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, so he took the field on Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys with a club-like protective cast on his right hand.
Starting at the WILL linebacker spot beside second-year Florida product Antonio Morrison, Bostic registered three tackles in 10 total defensive snaps playing in his first game action since Dec. 27, 2015.
"It felt good, obviously, just to get back out there," Bostic said after the game. "It's always good to get on the field, go out there and compete. That's what we sign up for."
With the Colts, Bostic has been asked to help lead a relatively young linebacker group that includes the likes of Morrison, Edwin Jackson (who is in his third year with the Colts), Anthony Walker (a 2017 fifth-round pick), Luke Rhodes (who is in his in his second year with the Colts), as well as fellow veteran Sean Spence.
To Bostic, while there has been a notable amount of competition at inside linebacker, he's excited about the fact that each player brings a different flavor to the position.
"We don't have guys that we can just pinpoint to one position; a lot of guys that can play a lot of positions and help us do a lot of different things on the defense," he said. "So really it's about us all coming together, making sure whoever's on the field out there (is) playing within the defense and making plays."
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