INDIANAPOLIS — Welcome back, Kemoko Turay.
More than a year after suffering a brutal ankle injury in the Indianapolis Colts' 2019 Week 5 road victory against the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, Turay, the third-year defensive end, is expected to be activated this week from the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, head coach Frank Reich said today in a video conference call with local reporters.
In other roster-related news, linebacker Matthew Adams, who last week was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, was also officially brought back to the active roster on Monday.
Turay, who underwent surgery to his ankle after the injury last year, has been working his way back for months now. He started the season on the PUP list, requiring him to sit out at least the first six games of the season, and then on Oct. 28 he was officially brought back to practice. Reich said at the time he believed Turay would need at least a couple weeks of practice under him before he was able to get back into game action; the Colts are coming off two games in a four-day span against the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans, so Turay's 2020 debut could come this Sunday at home against the Green Bay Packers.
Reich said that Turay will likely be on a bit of a pitch count to start out, but that he's excited to see the boost he can provide to the defense once he is able to officially return to game action; the Colts currently rank 15th in the NFL in sacks per game (2.3).
"What we've seen out at practice is the same guy, the same guy with the speed and bend coming off the edge, a disruptive player with a lot of explosiveness – natural knack to get off on the ball, get off on the snap count," Reich said. "You're right … it would be natural to when and if he is up, just like there is in practice – he's on a bit of a pitch count in practice. It would be the same thing in a game."
At the time of his season-ending injury last season, Turay was tied with T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the best PFF grade among any edge defender in the NFL (91.3), and his pass-rush grade of 91.0 trailed only Watt and the Cleveland Browns' Myles Garrett. Turay stood alone atop the Pass Rushing Productivity category, his 13.1 ranking handily above the next-best player's 10.6.
A neck injury in Week 2 limited Turay to just four games in the first five weeks of the season, but he was able to total five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, five quarterback hits and eight hurries in that time.
Adams, meanwhile, had just returned from injured reserve (ankle) last week when he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list; he ended up missing the Colts' Week 10 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Other injury news
The Colts will continue to monitor injuries to two other key players this week — one on each side of the ball.
Tight end Jack Doyle remains in the concussion protocol, Reich said today, while cornerback Kenny Moore II continues to deal with an injury to his ribs.
Doyle suffered his concussion late in the first half of the Colts' Week 9 loss to the Ravens, and missed the Week 10 victory over the Titans.
Moore II, meanwhile, exited the Titans game and did not return.