Minus McKinney, Colts need DT help

We wrote recently about how the Colts' transition to being a big team was going to take some time.

It’s now going to take some more time.

The biggest newcomer, 345-pound nose tackle Brandon McKinney, is out for the year after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament against the Redskins in Washington on Saturday.

The Colts signed McKinney as a free agent from Baltimore, where he played in the system new head coach Chuck Pagano brought to Indianapolis.

That leaves Antonio Johnson, who’s starting, as the team’s lone big nose tackle. He said early in camp he was up to 330.

Josh Chapman, a fifth-round pick from Alabama, is listed as 316, and he came into the league recovering from his own ACL injury.

He’ll be on the physically-unable-to-perform list to start the season, meaning the Colts won’t have access to him for at least six weeks into the regular season.

“He’s coming along great,” Pagano told Colts beat reporters. “I think he’s ahead of schedule. Again, I think his injury was significant enough that it takes eight to 10 months to get that thing fully rehabbed and healed. Again, I think he’s ahead of schedule and will remain on PUP, which is once you start the season on PUP, there is a six-week period in which you just do strength and conditioning rehab and you’re not allowed to practice. After that six-week period, you’ve got a three-week window to start and get him back in practice mode, which we feel really confident by that time, he’ll be ready to go.”

The loss of McKinney could get the Colts looking for additional interior help. It's not a three-down job. End Cory Redding can move inside in the nickel package. But the only other healthy nose tackle on the depth chart is undrafted rookie Chigbo Anunoby.

Veteran Shaun Smith was recently cut by the Titans and could fit Indianapolis’ scheme.