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Injuries Forcing Colts Rookie Cornerbacks Into Lineup

Over the final month of the 2017 season, the Indianapolis Colts are going to get an extended look at their rookie cornerbacks.

Zach Boling | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Evaluating young players on a 3-9 football team is about the only thing to watch for with the month of December here.

That’s coming to the defensive backfield of the Indianapolis Colts.

Injuries to Rashaan Melvin (who is still expected to miss time due to a hand injury) and Pierre Desir (shoulder muscle tear, which will send him to injured reserve) are opening the door for some rookies.

The new injury to the cornerback group came to Desir on Sunday.

Desir, who had played solid in six starts this year, went down on the first play of the second quarter in Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars. It’s an injury that will send the upcoming free agent to injured reserve.

“Really proud of what Pierre has done for us,” Chuck Pagano said on Monday. “Really good kid and a good player. It’s a shame.”

When Desir exited against the Jaguars, the Colts inserted Quincy Wilson for the rookie’s first game action since Week Two of the season.

Wilson was playing opposite fellow rookie Kenny Moore, who was starting for the injured Melvin.

Going forward, the Colts will likely have 3 rookies in starting-type roles:

-Quincy Wilson (2nd round pick)

-Nate Hairston (5th round pick, starting nickel corner)

-Kenny Moore (undrafted)

Wilson and Moore have each started 1 NFL game, but the rookies have hardly seen much defensive action this season.

Injuries and coaching decisions have kept Wilson off the field since mid-September, whereas Moore has been primarily a special teams player after going undrafted out of Valdosta State.

While Melvin and Desir have likely done enough to merit re-sign consideration as they enter free agency, the Colts will now get a chance for some much-needed rookie playing time in the development department.

“They are more than equipped,” Pagano said of the young corners. “They wouldn’t be in this building if they didn’t have the tools to be successful. They don’t have the experience…(but) it’s baptism under fire.

“I think they all would rather be doing that then sitting around.”

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A youthful cornerback room will welcome back veteran Pierre Desir in 2018.