Ed Johnson Released Again?

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Ed Johnson Released Again?
(Photo by NFL Photos)

Multiple sources are reporting that the Colts have once again released defensive tackle Ed Johnson.

Ed Johnson has been playing well, and the Colts defense is looking better than it ever has.  So this can only mean one thing:

Ed Johnson did something stupid. Again.

Last time the Colts waived him, it was because he was driving around I-465 smokin' blunts and livin' it up.  Ruining his career. 

There's no reason to speculate on what the Colts' reasoning was this time, but it is likely that Johnson's NFL career is over, and the ramifications to the team could be significant.

The team's defensive tackle rotation is still in better shape than it was last year when Johnson was excused from the team, but they will need someone to really step up for the Colts to continue playing at a high level on defense. 

Eric Foster and Daniel Muir have both played well when they've been in the game, and it is likely that one of these two players will be inserted into the starting lineup.

Perhaps Johnson's release will open the door for one of the Colts' draft picks to step into the rotation and prove themselves. 

The team took two 300-plus pound tackles in this year's draft, but neither made enough of an impression in training camp or pre-season to warrant any postulation that they can fill the void that Johnson has left.

Second-round pick Fili Maola has not seen much time on the field, and fourth-round pick Terrance Taylor is no longer even on the Colts' practice squad.

That means that if the Colts hope to remain stout on the defensive side of the ball, either Foster or Muir will have to ramp up their game. 

Eric Foster is very undersized for a defensive tackle, but he frequently gets good penetration.  He started the game against Jacksonville in which Ed Johnson was suspended and had four tackles and one QB pressure. 

This is his second year in the system, so he may see marked improvement from last season in which he started 11 games.

Daniel Muir is the biggest tackle on the roster, listed at 312 pounds.  He will probably remain in a reserve role, but the team could rotate in their biggest linemen on early downs to match up better against the run. 

With Ed Johnson out of the lineup, the Colts risk reverting back to their recent habit of allowing excessive rushing yardage to opposing offenses. 

It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks what impact defensive coordinator Larry Coyer's scheme has had and can have on the defense.  Perhaps the blitzing threat, specifically with the addition of some well-timed run blitzes, will help to minimize the loss of the team's best defensive tackle.

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