Nate Irving Down 20 Pounds, In Line For Starting Spot?

Intro: Along with Sio Moore, Nate Irving is competing for the starting linebacker spot next to D’Qwell Jackson. How has Irving transformed his body since tearing his ACL in 2014?

IrvingPractice.jpg

INDIANAPOLIS – The number isn't the only thing that has changed on Nate Irving this season.

The No. 56 (Irving was No. 55 last year) in a white jersey this year isn't carrying the 260-ish pounds Irving was in 2015

With a healthy knee, and down nearly 30 pounds, Irving has a different look to him in more than one way.

"Last year dealing with the (ACL), I never understood how people did it," Irving says of staying in shape while coming back from a 2014 ACL injury.

"My weight ballooned up and that has affects on your knee and your muscles around it."

Irving played around 260 pounds last season, logging just 106 snaps before going on injured reserve in early December.

Last offseason was strictly mental reps for Irving.

His spring workload has taken a 180 in Year No. 2 with the Colts.

2016 Organized Team Activities (OTA) - Week 6 - #2

"I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in because this time last year I was limping around the training room still trying to get my knee right," Irving says.

"(My knee) feels way better. I'm not as sluggish. I feel great."

Chuck Pagano can see the difference just watching Irving move around this year.

Pagano has liked what he's seen from Irving and Sio Moore in how that duo has matched up in pass coverage during OTAs. Both are the expected lead candidates to start next to D'Qwell Jackson.

Irving and Moore have received extended first-team work this offseason with Jackson working back from a hamstring injury.

Jackson has noticed much more fluidity in Irving's play.

"He's moving more confidently," Jackson says of the five-year veteran. "You can tell by his movement, his explosion.

"The more experience he gets, the more confident he gets. He's having a great OTA."

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