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INDIANAPOLIS – Pressure is felt on a daily basis in the NFL world.
Different levels of pressure reside in various players with their current spots on the roster.
When taking a peak ahead to the 2018 season for the Colts, here’s a look at 5 players with some pressure on them:
Center Ryan Kelly: When you draft a center No. 18 overall, the belief is that player will rather quickly become a Pro Bowl-caliber talent. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case through Ryan Kelly’s first two NFL seasons. Yes, injuries killed Kelly in 2017, but the old saying of ‘the greatest ability is availability’ can’t be ignored. Kelly is reaching the back half of his rookie contract with a decision on the team’s 5th-year option needed next spring. Will a healthy Kelly deliver for the Colts in 2018?
Quarterback Andrew Luck: No matter the situation, when you are paid nearly $25 million per year, the pressure is immense. Right or wrong, that’s life in professional sports, especially at the quarterback position. Like Kelly, Luck has suffered majorly from the injury bug. Luck will turn 29 in September, so he has plenty of prime years ahead of him. However, he needs to return to health this season and show strides in why he was tabbed as this generation’s Peyton Manning when coming out of Stanford back in 2012.
Cornerback Quincy Wilson: Based off their lack of activity with the corner position this offseason, the Colts sent a pretty direct message to Wilson. Whether they mean it or not, the Colts really need for Wilson to ascend to being that No. 1 cornerback. If not, then cornerback clearly becomes the No. 1 off-season need for the Colts in 2019. Wilson is just 21 years old, so he has plenty of years ahead of him, but the Colts don’t have a whole lot of options to turn to as a starting-level corner if Wilson doesn’t take the jump from an odd rookie season.
Safety Clayton Geathers: Injuries have decimated the promising future that Geathers seemed destined for in 2015-16. Now the fourth-year pro is in the final season of his rookie contract. And he just missed the entire offseason program for a second straight season. Everything for Geathers turned on that game-clinching tackle he had against DeMarco Murray in November 2016. Geathers has to prove that he can stay healthy if the Colts are going to even think about offering him a second contract next year.
Defensive End Tarell Basham: Maybe it’s a little early to put Basham on this list, considering he’s just in his second season and looking at a starting job. But he has a second-round pick in Kemoko Turay on his heels and next year’s defensive line draft class looks very deep, too. If Basham doesn’t perform at an adequate level this season, maybe he loses his starting job to Turay. That would create an uphill climb to stay entrenched on this defense.