The Colts got a nice boost for their game on Sunday, and as a result, a big boost for their matchup against the Steelers with the return of defensive tackle Grover Stewart. The veteran is crucial to what they do up front as a defensive line. He had been serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Now that he is back, however, it presents a tough matchup for the Steelers.
See, the Indianapolis Colts have a porous run defense by the numbers. They rank 26th in the NFL in run yards per game at 133.3 and allow 156.3 yards per game over their last three games. But with Stewart back, they could boost that. Stewart has not played since October 15th, but when he is on the field, the team allows just a little over 40 yards less per game. It’s that significant, and he makes the rushing defense go. That would have them in the Top 10 rushing defenses in the NFL. \
How they will look on Sunday against the Bengals and Joe Mixon remains to be seen, but if Pittsburgh wants to win that game, Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will be massive parts of it.
Of course, this is not the only situation to watch around the Colts. Running back Jonathan Taylor had thumb surgery and will miss this week’s game against the Bengals. He could return next week, as that is right at the start of the three to five week timeline he got after the surgery. However, it remains to be seen if that will happen, and backup Zack Moss is playing some good football.
Taylor and the Colts agreed to a new three-year, $42 million contract with $26.5 million in guaranteed money. He was on the physically unable-to-perform list with an ankle injury while also holding out for a new contract. He returned to game action and, in that limited action, has been serviceable but not entirely up to speed. But Moss has picked up the slack with 672 rushing yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.