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With Delano Howell Sidelined, Who Will The Colts Turn To At Safety?

Intro: As we move into the final stages of the preseason, the safety position remains without a locked in starter. If Delano Howell remains sidelined, who are the candidates to start next to LaRon Landry?


INDIANAPOLIS – As the Colts began practice on Wednesday morning, the lone safety, not named LaRon Landry, with starting experience in Indianapolis remained sidelined.

After playing in the preseason opener back on August 7, Delano Howell walked off the Anderson practice fields two days later and hasn't returned since.

Back in Anderson, Chuck Pagano said Howell was dealing with stiffness in his neck.

It was another unfortunate setback for Howell, who has battled injuries since joining the Colts late in his 2012 rookie season.

In limited action, Howell has proven to be a capable starting safety in this league but it's the injury bug that is once again holding him back.

"We are just going to keep getting the information as it comes," Ryan Grigson said of Howell on Tuesday. "He's a guy that we hope is back but like I said, it's a neck. I can't make judgments on a neck. That's what the doctors are for. That's why he's getting multiple opinions because you want to make sure that everybody has their opinion going in the same direction because it's not like you're dealing with a fingernail here. You're dealing with your neck and that's something that has to be really looked at with a fine-tooth comb.

"No decisions have been made. There's no feeling one way or another where he's going to be here or not be here. We want him to see as many people as possible so he's comfortable with going in one of those directions. We'll see. We'll have some information here hopefully by the end of the week."

With Howell sidelined, Mike Adams has emerged with the first team defense.

The 10-year veteran, with 146 games of NFL experience, has now been with the Colts for a little more than two months.

Adams ran with the first unit late in Training Camp and was in the starting lineup during Week Two of the preseason, playing next to LaRon Landry for 15 snaps.

"That's very important," Adams says of playing alongside Landry. "If I'm going to be the guy playing with him, it makes a big difference just to get acclimated and used to how he plays whether he wants to go down, whether he wants to get back, things like that.

At the age of 33, Adams might have caused some suitors to look elsewhere for safety needs.

Back in minicamp, Grigson praised the durability of Adams (he's missed three games since 2005) and the former Denver safety played the most snaps of any Broncos defender in last year's Super Bowl.

Adams admits that it has taken a little longer then he thought to get a grasp of the Colts language at the backend of the defense.

With special team standouts, Sergio Brown and Colt Anderson, also seeing plenty of first team action this camp, Pagano hesitates on penciling in Adams as the starter, if Howell is out for a while.

"Between Sergio, Mike, Colt, Dewey (McDonald), LaRon, we've got a bunch of guys back there still competing," Pagano says.

"All those guys have the traits that you're looking for to play in our system and in our scheme. They can all play down in the box, they can all get guys on the ground. They're athletic enough to cover and they've got good range in the back end when they have to play in the deep part of the secondary. I think we've got guys that are more than capable."

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