Key Colts Defender Absent from OTA Practice Session: Report

Frank Reich

Getty A defensive star was reportedly missing from OTAs for head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts on May 26.

Cornerback Kenny Moore II is not participating in team drills during May reportedly in the hopes of landing a new contract with the Indianapolis Colts. But he is present at the team facility for the May offseason workouts.

That’s not the case for new Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Colts staff writer Zak Keefer of The Athletic reports Ngakoue is absent from OTAs but will be joining the team soon.

“The other notable absence was new pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who, according to a source, is following his own offseason workout routine and will be in Indianapolis soon,” Keefer wrote. “The Colts are confident with Ngakoue’s familiarity with coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme and don’t expect his absence to be an issue.”

Keefer also noted that most of the veterans who participated in the workout on May 25 did so in limited capacity.

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Yannick Ngakoue Not at Offseason Workouts

Keefer did not provide a specific timeframe for when Ngakoue may return to Indianapolis.  Colts writer Kevin Hickey of USA Today speculated that Ngakoue might not make his first appearance with the Colts this year until mandatory minicamp in June.

But Hickey wrote that the expectation is that he will be with the team at some point during the offseason workouts.

Ngakoue posted 10.0 sacks with 8 tackles for loss and 23 quarterbacks hits in 17 games for the Las Vegas Raiders last season. He’s recorded at least 8.0 sacks in all six of his years in the NFL.

Assuming that continues in 2022, Ngakoue will be a significant boost for the Colts pass rush. DeForest Buckner led the team with 7.0 sacks last season. The last time Indianapolis had a player record at least 10 sacks was Justin Houston in 2019.

Improving that pass rush was one of general manager Chris Ballard’s top goals of this offseason. To acquire Ngakoue, the Colts sent steady cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to the Raiders.

Yannick Ngakoue Motivated to Prove His Doubters Wrong

In a perfect world, every player will be at and participate in all the offseason workouts. But as Frank Reich mentioned when talking about Moore on May 25, the workouts are voluntary.

Based on an interview Ngakoue did with Tyler Dunne of Go Long this offseason, the Colts don’t have to be concerned about the defensive end lacking motivation to be in shape and perform at the top of his game this fall.

In addition to the Raiders, Ngakoue has previously played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and Baltimore Ravens. Indianapolis will face three of those four teams during the 2022 season, including the Jaguars twice.

Ngakoue grew particularly excited about the prospect of visiting the Raiders when discussing the upcoming season with Dunne for an article released on May 5.

“They’ll see how I feel,” Ngakoue told Dunne. “We go to their house. They’ll see why they f***** up.

“They’re going to have to pay. They’ll pay.”

Ngakoue sent an overall warning to the entire league too.

“The way I feel right now, if you’re in my way? I would be afraid.”

It sounds as though Ngakoue is going to be ready for the season whether or not he’s participating in voluntary offseason team workouts.

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