Colts won’t “force the issue” for pass rush help

The Colts haven’t closed the door on bringing defensive end Justin Houston back for the 2021 season, but they have a need for pass rush help that won’t be fully erased even if he does re-sign with the team.

Houston had eight sacks last season and Denico Autry, who signed with the Titans as a free agent, had 7.5, which made up a good chunk of the 40 sacks that the team posted in 2020. At a Friday press conference, General Manager Chris Ballard said that he thinks there are some good prospects in the draft at defensive end but that the team isn’t going to reach to fill the need.

“We’re not going to just force the issue,” Ballard said.

Ballard also said that he thinks the team has good players on hand. He said it is “a big year” for Ben Banogu and expressed hope that Kemoko Turay will have better health after multiple ankle surgeries, but it seems unlikely that the plan to fill out the edges of the defense will be limited to players already on the roster.