Dayo Odeyingbo: Goal is to play this year after tearing Achilles in January

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The Colts picked defensive linemen with their first two selections in this year’s draft, but the expectations for 2021 were very different for the two players.

First-round pick Kwity Paye is seen as an immediate contributor to the team’s pass rush, but second-rounder Dayo Odeyingbo was taken with an eye on the long term. Odeyingbo tore his Achilles while training for the Senior Bowl in January and that injury gives rise to thoughts of a redshirt season for the Vanderbilt product.

At this weekend’s rookie minicamp, Odeyingbo said he is still striving to play this season.

“The goal is to be back playing this year,” Odeyingbo said, via the team’s website. “So that’s what I’m working towards and that’ll play out how it plays out. . . . Obviously everybody wants to get back as fast as possible, but you have to with these injuries [go about it] the right way and don’t want to push anything too hard, kind of make it worse or kind or mess up your future or set you back. So I’m working hard to get back as fast as possible, but I’m definitely being careful with the whole situation.”

The nature of Odeyingbo’s injury makes it likely that he’ll be on the physically unable to perform list when training camp opens this summer and it’s a good bet he’ll remain there into the regular season. The Colts took him knowing that and knowing that any 2021 contributions would be limited by the injury, so any on-field activity will be a plus in Indianapolis.