Who Are The Most Indispensable Colts For The 2017 Season?

Intro: Going into the 2017 season, the Colts have some major questions in the injury department. So, who are the most indispensable Colts in 2017?

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INDIANAPOLIS –How is Andrew Luck's shoulder?

How is Clayton Geathers' neck?

Fans of the Indianapolis Colts are eagerly waiting updates on Luck and Geathers with Training Camp now less than two weeks away.

That got me thinking about firing off our annual question of "the most indispensable Colts" for the upcoming season.

Who must stay/get healthy for the Colts to find their way back into the postseason?

The question, asking for five names, was posed on Twitter and saw quite the reaction from those who follow the Colts.

Here's a look at the eight Colts who received at least 25 votes from fans:

  • Andrew Luck (176):And the sun rises from the east. This was a foregone conclusion. Luck was the overwhelming name appearing on lists. Going into camp, Luck falls on the "get healthy" part of this question. The Colts did not have Luck for one game last season, when a concussion kept him off the field for their Thanksgiving tilt with the Steelers. Will Luck's shoulder rehab in 2017 lead to Scott Tolzien under center for any action this season?
  • Vontae Davis (129):Of all the defensive turnover we saw last offseason, the one constant remains at cornerback. Davis has been the team's top corner since he was traded to Indianapolis back in 2012. This is a contract year for the 29-year old Davis. Nagging injuries have been there for Davis in recent years. He's still missed just three games in the last four seasons. With hardly any proven depth behind Davis, it makes complete sense why he's so high on this list.
  • T.Y. Hilton (127):The vast majority of lists had the Luck/Davis/Hilton trio on them. Unlike Davis and the cornerback position, the depth behind Hilton is much deeper at wide receiver. Hilton is so high on this list because of what he has meant to the Colts offense. Luck's rapport with Hilton rivals that of any other quarterback/receiver duo in the NFL. Hilton has missed just two games in his five NFL seasons.
  • Ryan Kelly (84):We've seen a shift in the "top indispensable offensive lineman" debate. Ryan Kelly is clearly the guy in 2017. Kelly started every game last season. The backup center for Kelly this year is likely Brian Schwenke, who does have 28 career starts. It's clear fans hold Kelly in very high regard as Luck finally has some stability in the guy snapping the ball to him.
  • Johnathan Hankins (67):The new Colt falls at No. 4 on this list. It's been a while since the Colts have had an interior defensive lineman in the mold of Hankins. The 3-4 defense is shifting and Hankins is a massive piece (literally and figuratively) in that change. Hankins missed seven games in 2015, but played in all 16 contests last year.
  • Anthony Castonzo (43):In past years, Castonzo would appear much higher on this list. One could make the argument Castonzo should still be higher, given the lack of pure left tackle depth on the roster. Who would start at left tackle if Castonzo went down? That's a question the Colts must figure out during Training Camp. Castonzo has missed just three games since his 2011 rookie season.
  • Malik Hooker (28):We've yet to see Hooker on the field in a professional setting, but he's still finding his way on the list. Similar to wide receiver, safety is a position of depth for the Colts. However, Hooker is such a unique talent to the backend of a defense. The range Hooker can cover is rare and something that should instantly improve the Colts' defensive playmaking. Hooker is expected to be ready for the start of Training Camp.
  • Jack Mewhort (28):Three offensive linemen in the Colts' top eight most indispensable players? You probably wouldn't find too many rosters with that in the NFL. But that's how important fans view the offensive line in 2017. Currently, the Colts probably have more interior offensive line depth than they do on the edges of their line. Mewhort is entering a contract year. He's missed eight games in three NFL seasons.
  • Here are the other players who received votes: Henry Anderson, Darius Butler, Jack Doyle, Clayton Geathers, Frank Gore, Thomas Hennessy, Kendall Langford, Jabaal Sheard, Sean Spence, Robert Turbin, Adam Vinatieri and Quincy Wilson.

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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