Colts DE Hughes under the microscope

Posted Nov. 23, 2011 @ 7:41 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

As the Colts' winless season drags mercilessly along, the main point of emphasis in the final 1½ months will be evaluating young players for the future. Arguably no player will be under a bigger spotlight than second-year DE Jerry Hughes. Early in the season, the one thing the Colts had going for them was Pro Bowl DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis making plays despite the team's struggles. That ship has sailed, however, as the two have combined for one sack the past five games. Mathis' contract expires after the season and no decisions will be made before the Colts know what direction they are going in with QB Peyton Manning. Despite more opportunities in recent weeks, Hughes continues to look completely lost, we hear. He has managed only one sack in his first 20 NFL games. Word is Hughes' good will with the team is quickly running out, and with Mathis' future uncertain, bolstering the pass rush could turn into a big priority in the offseason.