Trent Cole returned to practice today, and the Colts are paving a path for the veteran pass-rusher to return from IR. The team designated Cole as its IR-return candidate, Howard Balzer of All22.com reports (via Twitter).
The Colts placed Cole on IR in September with a back injury, and he underwent surgery soon after. Indianapolis will have 21 days to determine whether or not Cole will return to game action after using him in practice Monday. That puts his return in the early- to mid-December range, should this process unfold to the organization’s liking.
Cole is in the second season of a two-year, $14MM deal. Although, he accepted a significant pay cut to reduce his 2016 salary to $7.125MM to $4.875MM. At 34, the former Eagles stalwart end’s career is coming to a close. However, the Colts do not have a plethora of edge-rushing contributors.
Erik Walden leads the team with eight sacks, with 35-year-old veteran Robert Mathis having recorded three — second on the team. Indianapolis also lost Kendall Langford for the season earlier this month. The Colts sit 20th in the league with 22 sacks.
However, no other prominent Colts reside on the team’s IR, so a Cole return is logical. He’s yet to notch a sack this season and matched his career low with three in 2015, but the 12th-year player has 88.5 in his career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.