Indianapolis Colts first-round pick Kwity Paye left practice on Wednesday with a right ankle injury. He is the fifth presumed starter to have suffered a lower-body injury in the past two weeks.
Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson have identical foot injuries that needed surgery to repair. DeForest Buckner has a minor foot injury, while Mo Alie-Cox has a knee injury. Several other Indianapolis Colts players are also sidelined due to injuries, including every projected starter on the offensive line.
The severity of Kwity Paye's injury is unknown at this point, but he will likely miss the first preseason game. Paye had a great rookie camp and is expected to become a pivotal cog in the pass rush. But the injury will undoubtedly hamper his development.
The timing of Paye's injury is terrible as the Colts are scheduled to host joint practice with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. Paye would have been able to test his skills against seasoned NFL offensive linemen during the Panthers' visit to Indy.
What next for Indianapolis Colts with Kwity Paye injured
Who will fill in for the Indianapolis Colts if Kwity Paye's condition is severe?
Tyquan Lewis has six sacks through three seasons, Kemoko Turay has 6.5 sacks in three seasons, and the starter opposite Kwity Paye, Al-Quadin Muhammad, has five sacks in four seasons. DeForest Buckner is another star on the DL. He had 9.5 sacks in 2020.
The injury has undoubtedly put a wrench in the Colts' plans for Paye. They were banking on him getting reps during the preseason to prepare for the season-opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Even if Paye is healthy for the start of the season, he will likely have a rough orientation to life in the NFL. The Colts are set to take on the Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans in their opening three games of the season. It certainly won't be easy for Paye to step in without much game time and make an impact against three stellar teams.
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The Colts are now forced to wait for a verdict on his condition and hope that one of their underwhelming backups can find success during the preseason and fill in for Paye until he's fully prepared to make his NFL debut. The Indianapolis Colts' hopes of a strong season are quickly evaporating due to the injuries, similar to the San Francisco 49ers last season.