The most wide open competition for the Indianapolis Colts is the inside linebacker position. With three new additions, including a rookie. Five players are battling for two starting spots with each bringing a different skill set.
Edwin Jackson and Antiono Morrison are the two players returning to action this year for the Colts. With Morrison, his skills are limited but effective. He plays great against the run and in goal line situations. But if you ask him to play in space or coverage you can get plays like this one.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 11, 2016
As for Jackson, he was a player that got a lot of attention coming into training camp. And he turned into a solid player for the Colts. He notched 88 tackles and started eight games for Indianapolis. He should be in the conversation to start as well.
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard wasn’t just satisfied with returning Morrison and Jackson, so he decided to add more competition to the position. He added Jon Bostic and Sean Spence to see if they could add to the position.
Early signs from Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star show that he has overcome some of his injuries. Bostic told Holder, “The body feels good, feels fresh,” he said. “So, I’m ready to go.”
The second addition is Spence who played for the Tennessee Titans last year, despite a devastating injury early in his career. Spence has shown that he was able to overcome that injury and play in 15 games for the Titans.
The Dark Horse
Finally, there is the rookie, Anthony Walker Jr. from Northwestern. While he already has a plan to take Ballard’s job one day, his current focus is earning a starting spot for the Colts. NFL.com draft expert Lance Zierlein said that Walker is a “smart player with excellent work ethic.” This description fits what Ballard is trying to do by bringing in high-character players. If Walker can communicate and get the defense into the right spot, he could see some playing time shortly.
Who’s Going to Start?
Right now, the best guess would be Bostic and Spence. With Morrison coming in on running situations, think 3rd-and-short, or goal line situations. With Walker, don’t be surprised if he ends up on specials teams early in the year and develops into a starter in years two or three. Each of these players has different skills that can contribute to the team, so expect to see a rotation as the season moves along.
- Running Back
- Wide Receiver
- Tight End
- Offensive Line
- Defensive Line
- Edge Defender
- Return Game