The Indianapolis Colts were hoping that Delano Howell could step in and fill the starting safety spot that Antoine Bethea left when he signed with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear that it will end up happening this season at least. According to the Colts and general manager Ryan Grigson, Howell will seek a specialist to have his neck injury checked out.
“Anytime there’s anything with a neck, you’ve got to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. That’s a serious area. It’s something that’s been nagging him.
He’s going through the whole entire process of seeing multiple people so he can formulate that opinion with his wife and his agent, himself and all of us and make the decision that’s best for Delano. He’s seeing another specialist so we can pinpoint exactly what the problem is. Hopefully he’s back out there playing for us soon.”
Since this news broke, the majority of media and fans are expecting to Howell miss the entire 2014 season. It isn’t a done deal yet, but there is a very good chance that doctors will tell him to take time off in order to help his neck heal. This is an eerily similar situation to what happened with Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins a few years back, but hopefully the end result isn’t the same.
Howell is a very physical presence in the defensive backfield, and was expected to fit very nicely alongside of LaRon Landry. He stands at 5’11″ and 196 pounds, he might not seem like the biggest difference maker, but he flies around the field and doesn’t hold anything back on his hits. The Colts will miss him on the field, and it makes their safety position battle come down to Mike Adams and Sergio Brown.
Overall, this is a very disappointing piece of news for the Colts’ organization and their fans. Howell has become a fan favorite throughout the offseason and training camp, and it would be difficult to see his season end this early because of neck problems. Hopefully he is able to get the right treatment, and make a quick and full recovery to get back on the field at some point this season.