INDIANAPOLIS – Last year they answered the challenge.
Will they have to do it again in 2016?
That's the question for the Colts' defensive line group this offseason.
Without Arthur Jones and Henry Anderson for the second half of the 2015 season, a group of youngsters and Kendall Langford banded together to sturdy the depleted Colts' defensive line.
Those similar names could be counted on again in 2016.
The Colts hope to have Jones back for Training Camp.
Anderson isn't expected to be ready for the start of action in Anderson.
If depth has to be tested, Chuck Pagano will lean on the names below.
"A rookie like (Hassan) Ridgeway is going to have to step up. Zach Kerr, T.Y. McGill and all those guys are going to have to step up and fill in until we get those guys back," Pagano says.
"It raises concerns, but it's next man up."
Who are those guys?
- Kendall Langford: Not enough can be said for the durability and productivity Langford provided the Colts in 2015. Langford has yet to miss a game in his eight NFL seasons. With the uncertainty to Anderson and Jones, Langford might be the most indispensable Colts' defender.
- Zach Kerr: When Anderson and Jones were out last season, it was Kerr starting the final four games of the season. Kerr has been receiving first-team reps during the offseason program.
- T.Y. McGill: The Colts found a sleeper in McGill. They claimed McGill off waivers following final roster cuts last season. McGill might not look it initially, but he brings some interior pass rush to the defensive line (just ask Ryan Tannehill).
- David Parry: Parry was one of just two rookie NFL defensive linemen to start every game last season. He's the likely starter at nose tackle so the specific injuries to Anderson and Jones don't directly impact his spot.
- Hassan Ridgeway: The versatile rookie could play a major, major role this season. After Ryan Kelly, Ridgeway might see the most minutes of any Colts' draftee. When Anderson and Jones return will obviously be a huge factor in the playing time for Ridgeway.
Other defensive linemen on the roster include: Kelcy Quarles returning for another season, and undrafted guys in Sterling Bailey and Delvon Simmons.