WESTFIELD, Ind.– Frank Reich’s words from a week ago resonated again Wednesday: You can’t make stuff this up.
Kwity Paye, the Indianapolis Colts’ first-round draft pick who’s projected to be the catalyst for the pass rush, exited a light Wednesday practice at Grand Park Sports Campus’ indoor facility with an injury to his right ankle.
That follows foot surgeries 24 hours apart last week to quarterback Carson Wentz (left) and All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson (right). Surgery was performed last Monday (Wentz) and Tuesday (Nelson). Each has watched practice the past two days, but a return remains uncertain although the team is hopeful that will be in time for the Sept. 12 opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
The nature and severity of Paye’s injury wasn’t immediately known.
It occurred during the first 11-on-11 session and on Sam Ehlinger’s first pass. It was intercepted by linebacker Darius Leonard, and after Leonard was finished weaving his way up the field, Paye still was on the ground, reaching for his right foot.
After being looked at by the training staff, Paye got up, limped off and headed to the locker room.
The 21st overall pick in the draft is in the midst of a solid rookie training camp. He routinely has gotten the upper hand while going against a bevy of backup left tackles (Sam Tevi, Will Holden and Julién Davenport).
The coaching staff is eager to see how everyone fares Thursday and Friday in joint practices against Carolina, and in Sunday’s preseason opener against the Panthers. Missing that elevated work will stall Paye’s development.
If Paye misses going against the Panthers, “it’s reps we wish he would have had, that’s for sure,’’ defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said. “Going against the opponent that’s coming in here and I think that’s good for everybody.
“He’s going to miss that if he does indeed, and we’ll have to make it up another way.’’
Along with losing Wentz and Nelson last week, the Colts have been working without Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly, who suffered hyperextended left elbow July 29, the same day Wentz injured his foot.
Wednesday, the entire projected starting offensive line was out: left tackle Eric Fisher (rehabbing Achilles injury), left guard Nelson (foot), center Kelly (elbow), right guard Mark Glowinski (unknown reason) and right tackle Braden Smith (foot).