INDIANAPOLIS – Last year, significant injuries to big name players didn't help the Colts' cause.
When asking fans who were the most indispensable Colts going into 2015, the names Andrew Luck, Anthony Castonzo and Arthur Jones all ranked in the top seven. That trio missed a combined 28 games in 2015.
So as we now look ahead to 2016, the fans have spoken again on who the most indispensable Colts are this season.
Here's a look at the eight Colts who received at least 25 votes from fans:
Andrew Luck (147):It's no surprise that for a second straight year, Luck is the commanding winner. One factor to weigh into Luck receiving so many votes comes from what is behind No. 12. Matt Hasselbeck is no longer in Indianapolis. Scott Tolzien is Luck's backup. Tolzien has thrown just one NFL pass in the past two seasons. Luck has said repeatedly that last year only opened his eyes even wider to just how valuable the quarterback position is to an NFL team. That's very, very true in Indianapolis.Vontae Davis (120):Davis continues to rise in how fans view his importance to the Colts. Elite cornerback play is a luxury in the NFL and the Colts have one in Davis. He is a bridge on the defense right in between the youth (i.e. Henry Anderson) to the vets (i.e. Robert Mathis). The 28-year-old Davis has a fellow former first-round pick opposite him in 2016, with Patrick Robinson coming to Indy in free agency.T.Y. Hilton (78):The rapport that Luck and Hilton have shown through four NFL seasons shouldn't be taken for granted. Colts' fans clearly look at Hilton as a sure fire No. 1 threat in this league. In 2015, Hilton still had more than 1,100 receiving yards with a handful of different quarterbacks throwing him the ball. If Donte Moncrief and Jacoby Brissett have the type of seasons many are projecting, that shouldn't overshadow just how dynamic Hilton is now in his fifth NFL season.Anthony Castonzo (60):When Castonzo, 27, was forced to miss three games last season, the sack numbers went up against the Colts and the ground game struggled. Any team losing its left tackle is going to see a domino effect up front and the Colts had that with Joe Reitz having to flip over from right tackle, and seventh-round pick Denzelle Good entering the lineup for his first ever NFL playing time. Castonzo's durability (three missed games in the past four years) is a major luxury for Andrew Luck and the Colts.Robert Mathis (50):A 35-year-old pass rusher should not be on this list, let alone this high. But Mathis is just a different breed, still bringing rare, rare ability going into his 14th season. Mathis remains the team's top pass rusher. If opponents respect Mathis like a top pass rusher, that should open up one-on-one avenues for the other rushers up front.Dwayne Allen (45):Allen skyrockets up this list with Coby Fleener's departure. After four years of debate, there is little discussion as to who the No. 1 tight end is in Indy. Allen is that guy. The depth at tight end though has changed significantly, which is why a healthy Allen is vital. Jack Doyle is still around and fills a plethora of roles. After that, Mo Alie-Cox's one NFL game is the only professional experience at the tight end position.Ryan Kelly (44):I think you would find it hard to have this same question asked to any other NFL team and see a center this high on the list. It means two things. The Colts really needed a center. And Kelly is a talented, ready rookie. You don't typically think of centers as such a critical position in the NFL. It is for the Colts with the turnover at center no longer there for Andrew Luck.Henry Anderson (38):Several fans alluded to it when sending in their list, but Anderson's readiness for the start of the regular season is in jeopardy. Fans obviously saw enough of Anderson last season to know his importance to the defensive front. I was surprised to see Kendall Langford not draw more votes, with the injury questions regarding Anderson and Arthur Jones.Frank Gore (31):Part of me felt like Gore should have merited a few more votes. Yes, the running back position sees bodies revolve in and out. But Gore is a unique ball carrier that has durability like really no other. If Gore does go down, the Colts would likely turn to Robert Turbin or Jordan Todman.
- Here are the other players who received votes: Mike Adams, Phillip Dorsett, D'Qwell Jackson, Arthur Jones, Kendall Langford, Pat McAfee, Jack Mewhort, Donte Moncrief, David Parry, Joe Reitz, Patrick Robinson, D'Joun Smith and Adam Vinatieri.*