The Indianapolis Colts failed to properly address the safety position in the 2014 NFL Draft, and that was largely due to their limited stockpile of draft picks this year. With Antoine Bethea now a member of the San Francisco 49ers, the Colts are left with LaRon Landry as their strong safety and either Delano Howell or Mike Adams as their free safety. Howell was once considered to be in the lead in the competition for safety duties opposite of the locked-in Landry, but Adams was added as veteran competition and assumed the “favorite” label.
It looks like Adams will be locked in as the starter, as there’s serious concern over Howell’s long-term future. According to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, comments made by Colts GM Ryan Grigson gave him some “bad vibes” about the injury. Per Holder, the safety will need to see multiple doctors, and other beat writers stated that there is palpable fear within the organization. He will likely have to see at least one specialist, and Holder adds that his future is “uncertain”. This is a concerning development, but we’ll have to wait until we get the latest stories up from beat writers like Holder.
Howell is just 24, so it’s even more crushing to hear about a major neck injury happening to a young player, as we recently saw with David Wilson and Jermichael Finley. Wilson’s injury costed him his career, and the same thing happened to UCLA product Johnathan Franklin of the Green Bay Packers. Howell recorded 19 tackles in six appearances last season and is headed for a bigger role here in 2014 in his third season in the league, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. But at this point, we can only fear for a grim prognosis.