The Colts are feeling optimistic about their chances of getting quarterback Carson Wentz and guard Quenton Nelson back in time to play in Week 1, but another member of the team went down with an injury in Wednesday’s practice.
First-round pick Kwity Paye was injured during a drill and got medical attention on the field before walking gingerly to the sideline with trainers. Paye did not return to the session and the team said later that he has an ankle injury.
The injury comes at a moment when the Colts are trying to tweak Paye’s pass rushing style so that he can make a successful transition to the NFL.
“What you didn’t see all the time was his explosiveness and speed in the pass rush,” defensive line coach Brian Baker said, via Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “You saw power. He lifted guys off their feet on tape, so I expected that. We’ve really been, to your point, been emphasizing that this is the NFL. You’ve got to be an edge rusher. Speed to power is your counter, but right now, let’s get comfortable with rushing the passer fast, because the ball’s out fast.”
That process will be interrupted and any missed time in preseason games could also be a setback to Paye’s chances of making an immediate splash in his rookie season.