ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen says that Darrius Heyward-Bey’s injury is a bit more severe than even we had anticipated, reporting a sprained MCL that will take weeks to heal.
“He’s definitely gonna miss a lot of time here,” said Mort on NFL Insiders.
Editor’s note: The Colts will undoubtedly be in the market for a veteran receiver now. If Heyward-Bey isn’t 100 percent before the third or fourth week of the pre-season–which seems likely at this point–the Colts are not going to be able to enter the season with just T.Y. Hilton and Griff Whalen outside of Reggie Wayne at WR.
They could get desperate and go for a guy like Brandon Lloyd or Laurent Robinson just to have a veteran out there in place of DHB.
In doing my pre-season evaluations of the Colts, one position that had an asterisk next to it was the wide receiver position. That’s because the Colts could either have a really good situation on their hands, or a potentially disastrous situation.
Luckily, this team boasts some good looking playmakers at the TE position, guys who can play out in the slot or on the outsides if the Colts needed them to in a pinch, but the depth at the wide receiver is becoming a serious issue for the Colts with the recent injury to Darrius Heyward-Bey.
DHB reportedly sprained his knee at practice last week, after he was finally starting to get some positive momentum going following his slow start to camp. Depending on the severity of DHB’s knee injury, the Colts are going to have to go shopping for a new receiver.
Last offseason, we saw the Colts trade a prime draft selection for Vontae Davis, and while I don’t think we’ll see anything that drastic, the Colts will definitely be keeping an eye on the WR position through the waiver wire and trade market as the pre-season quickly approaches.
One reason for optimism here is the fact that Griff Whalen, an undrafted free agent in 2012 that missed all of last season with an injury is having “without question the best camp of any player at the position,” according to Mike Chappell of the Indy Star.
That news could provide to be huge for the Colts going forward. If Whalen is able to emerge as a legitimate #4 target at WR for the Colts, then the depth issue wouldn’t be so concerning at this point. The Colts had a workout not too long ago for former Bills and Patriots WR Donald Jones, and he is probably still on speed dial at this point, just waiting for a call and getting ready to head out to an NFL camp.
The Colts probably aren’t going to go after any familiar veteran names out on the open market, at least those who might possibly cause a distraction. Brandon Lloyd and Laurent Robinson are still searching for gigs, and likely will find some before the pre-season is out. Both guys have extensive injury histories, so the Colts may want to look elsewhere via free agency.
If healthy, though, either of those veteran options could be nice pieces for the Colts. Robinson was a major bust FA signing for the Jaguars last season, but injuries played a huge part in that. Brandon Lloyd couldn’t find chemistry with Tom Brady and the Patriots, but he’s a vertical threat who is still a pretty good playmaker even at 32 years old.
Whatever the case, be on the lookout for the Colts to make a move at WR sooner rather than later. The smart money is on Donald Jones, whom the team worked out, but don’t be shocked if they start bringing in veteran guys who can help the team right away.