INDIANAPOLIS — For the first eight-plus years of Kendall Langford's career, his obvious talent — mixed in with some good luck — kept him on the field week after week longer than any other defensive lineman in the National Football League.
But last summer, something just wasn't right with the veteran Langford's right knee, so he underwent minor surgery to clean everything up to get him back onto the field as soon as possible.
Highlights from Langford's 2015 season!
As it turned out, he was able to return for the team's Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions, but over the next few weeks, it was apparent that Langford, who had a career year the prior season in Indy, just wasn't the same. So after playing seven games last year, extending his NFL-long games started streak to 135 regular-season contests, Langford would eventually be shut down for the remainder of the season.
And despite his efforts to get that knee back and ready this offseason, the team placed Langford on its Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list at the beginning of training camp to give him more time to work off to the side.
But on Wednesday, with the competition for spots along the defensive line already at a high level, the Colts made the difficult decision to release Langford, four days prior to Sunday's preseason opener against the Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"Kendall is well respected amongst everyone in the organization and a great ambassador of the horseshoe," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in a team press release. "We wish him all the best moving forward."
Langford signed with the Colts as a free agent in March 2015 after seven productive seasons with the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams. He made an immediate impact on the Indianapolis defense, turning in a career year two seasons ago with 40 total tackles (10 for a loss), a team-high-tying seven sacks and three passes defensed in 16 games, all starts.
But last season, he would collect 11 tackles — with no sacks — to go along with two passes defensed and a fumble recovery in seven games prior to being shut down for the year.
"Kendall emerged as a team leader shortly after we signed him in 2015," head coach Chuck Pagano said in Wednesday's release. "He gave everything he had on and off the field and we are grateful for his contributions. He is a great family man and will be successful in his future career."
For his part, Langford isn't bitter about Wednesday's news. In fact, he took to Twitter to thank the Colts organization and its fans.
"It's been a fun ride Colts fans!" Langford wrote. "But, all good things, indeed, come to an end! I would like the thank the Irsay family, the Colts organization and everybody affiliated with the organization for the opportunity!
"Last but certainly not least," he continued, "I would like to thank the amazing fans of the Indianapolis Colts for welcoming me and my family to a wonderful city and for all the love and support you've showed over the past (years)!"
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