The Colts big preseason win against the Rams came with a significant loss.
Inside linebacker Pat Angerer will miss about six weeks with a fractured foot that needs surgery, Chuck Pagano told Indianapolis reporters Monday.
Angerer emerged last season as a play-making force, shifting to the starting middle linebacker job in the Colts' 4-3 after Gary Brackett was lost in the first game of 2011.
In Pagano’s 3-4 hybrid, Angerer was to be a key cog in the middle, working with Kavell Conner.
“(Angerer) is the signal caller, he’s the guy that stands in front of the huddle,” Pagano said. “He has the respect of all those guys in the huddle. So when you lose your signal caller, you lose your middle backer, for an extended period of time, it means a lot. The guy’s productive, he’s a playmaker, he’s a warrior, he’s a Colt. He’s got all the Colt traits that you’re looking for, you know. So now it’ll be up to somebody else to step up and fill that void until we get him back.”
I thought Conner was effective against the Rams even after Angerer was hurt.
Jerrell Freeman was first in line as Angerer’s replacement.
Undrafted in 2008, he signed with the Titans out of Mary Hardin-Baylor, but didn't stick. Ultimately he landed with Saskatchewan of the CFL. In three years with the Roughriders, he totaled 144 tackles, 13 sacks, four fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
The Colts will keep looking for possibilities, too.
Pagano was politically polite when asked about Brackett. But the former Colts linebacker doesn’t bring the team the sort of size it wants in the new scheme, and the team is in the midst of a youth movement.
Don’t expect them to call on the old guard. I think Fokou might be the guy to challenge Freeman, and they'll be happy with the backer who emerges until Angerer is back.