Colts in good shape at cornerback

Posted April 02, 2011 @ 3:19 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

What is it about Colts defensive backs being bitten by the injury bug? The 2010 season marked the second consecutive campaign in which the secondary was the hardest hit area of the club. It started early in rookie minicamp, when third-round CB Kevin Thomas went down for the season with a knee injury. It continued in training camp, with S Jamie Silva also suffering a season-ending knee injury. The troubles only worsened throughout the season, with SS Bob Sanders — now a San Diego Charger — tearing his biceps tendon in Week One, and starting CBs Kelvin Hayden (neck) and Jerraud Powers (forearm) finishing the season on injured reserve.

The good news for the Colts is that all of these players with the exception of Sanders are expected to be back and healthy next season. And while the Colts likely will look to strengthen the safety position, we're hearing they are in very good shape at cornerback.

The return of Thomas, an energetic and natural cornerback whom the Colts were very high on coming out of USC, is like an extra draft pick. And with only six picks in April's draft — vice chairman Bill Polian traded a seventh-round '11 pick to the Redskins last April in exchange for CB Justin Tryon — Thomas' value is even greater.

Word is Thomas, who has the potential to line up against some of the league's bigger, more physical receivers, has made a full recovery.

Tryon, who was invaluable both on special teams and as an emergency starter after coming over from Washington, and '09 undrafted rookie Jacob Lacey are both expected to compete for the nickel back spot along with Thomas. After earning All-Rookie honors in '09, Lacey struggled with injuries and inconsistency last season.

Second-year CB Cornelius Brown, who signed with the team as a free agent on Nov. 1, 2010 and is a more physical corner than the Colts are used to, is another player to keep an eye on, the way we hear it.