INDIANAPOLIS — A nagging toe injury will result in the Indianapolis Colts placing one of their top rookie defenders on the injured reserve list.
General manager Chris Ballard said on Sunday the plan is for the team to place defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis on IR, although the team will monitor his progress in the coming weeks.
“He’s got a toe injury that just wouldn’t go away,” Ballard told reporters in a conference call. “So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna put him on IR and just see how that progresses as we go along.”
Lewis was selected by the Colts in the second round (64th overall) of this year’s NFL Draft out of Ohio State, where he was one of the top all-around defensive linemen in the country. He had a strong first offseason program this spring in Indianapolis and was starting to surge during the start of training camp, where the team was utilizing him both at defensive tackle and at defensive end in a variety of packages.
But Lewis suffered a toe injury a little more than a week into camp, and he missed his first practice on Aug. 6. He just wasn't able to get back to the field since that time.
Ballard lamented the timing of the loss of Lewis, as he said the rookie was really starting to make an impression on the coaching staff and the defense as a whole at the time of his injury.
“It stinks, man, because the kid’s really talented,” Ballard said. “And we were excited, especially early in camp, about what he was doing at the three (technique), and really thought on rush downs he was going to be one of our what our defensive coaches call our green package, where we’re going to try to get our four best rushers on the field.”
If Lewis progresses well enough in his rehab work over the next few weeks, the Colts could try to make him a candidate to return from IR later in the season. NFL teams can bring two players back per season from IR to the active roster as long as those players are on the team’s initial 53-man roster (Lewis is) and remains on IR for at least eight weeks.
Also on Sunday, Ballard confirmed that tight end Ross Travis, who was placed on the Colts’ IR list on Saturday, suffered an ACL injury.
Travis was injured during the fourth quarter of the Colts’ preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.