Defenders for the Colts publicly support Grover Stewart.

Defenders for the Colts publicly support Grover Stewart.

Shaquille Leonard, DeForest Buckner, and Zaire Franklin of the Indianapolis Colts expressed their opinions regarding Grover Stewart’s suspension.

The decision to have season-ending surgery on Anthony Richardson was the biggest news of the week involving the Indianapolis Colts, but it was not the most unexpected.

Defensive tackle Grover Stewart received the most unexpected news.
For breaking the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Stewart received a six-game suspension.
After hearing the news, Stewart admitted fault and said he ought to have been more watchful of what he put in his body.

Stewart issued a statement in which he expressed his regret to the National Football League, the Colts organization, his teammates, our supporters, and his family.
When I discovered I had broken the rule, I was shocked and disappointed. I value the integrity of the game, so I would never intentionally put the team or myself in a precarious situation.
I should have done more to educate myself because I am in charge of what I put in my body.
I’ll use what I’ve learned from this going forward to ensure that it never happens again by taking the necessary precautions.

All reports suggest Stewart did not knowingly consume anything that would qualify as a performance-enhancing substance, despite the fact that it is unknown what Stewart tested positive for.
Shane Steichen, head coach of the Colts, backed up that assertion on Wednesday.

“He screwed up.
Regarding Stewart, Steichen said, “It wasn’t malicious.
“In the eight months I’ve known him, he’s been an incredible teammate and a wonderful person. He made a mistake, but we’re going to stick with him through it, and when he returns in six weeks, he’ll be prepared to go.

The Colts’ locker room has a similar opinion of Stewart.
Stewart, who was selected in the fourth round out of Albany State in 2017, has excelled as a teammate ever since he arrived in Indianapolis.
Mistakes do occur occasionally.

Grover Stewart (90), a defensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts, reacts at MandT Bank Stadium after the Indianapolis Colts score a field goal against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter.

DeForest Buckner is the only team member who is more familiar with Stewart.
Since the Colts acquired the All-Pro in a trade in 2020, Buckner and Stewart have been the cornerstones of the Colts’ defensive line. Buckner made it clear that Stewart did not advance to his current position through dishonest means, and they have since established themselves as one of the best defensive tackle teams in the NFL.

Buckner said, “It’s too bad it happened to him.
We all understand Grove’s character, and we are aware that he would never purposefully cheat himself or the game.
Everybody is accountable for the food they consume.
To understand what is happening in our bodies, we must all take the proper precautions.
Just the fact that it was him was regrettable.

Stewart was supported by Zaire Franklin, another defensive captain for the Colts.
The two have developed from backups to two of the Colts’ most valuable defenders, Franklin having been selected by the team a year after Stewart. Franklin endorsed Stewart’s integrity.

“When it rains, it pours,” said Franklin.
Big Grove is a great person and a great human, I tell you.
I am confident that he would never attempt to cheat in any way.
None of that describes him. But it’s just a bad situation for him.

Even though Stewart did not mean to harm his team, it will be difficult to replace Big Grove’s defensive contributions.
Stewart’s numbers as a nose tackle don’t necessarily stand out on the page.
The 6-4, 314-pound hulk has 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits through six games this year.

Stewart, on the other hand, is strong against the run.
The Colts are tied for ninth in the NFL in yards per carry allowed at 3.7 largely due to his presence and penetration in the run game.
For the Colts, trying to close that gap won’t be simple.

Shaquille Leonard said, “It’s going to be very difficult, (Stewart is) a great football player.
It will be difficult, but we must find a solution to finish the task.

Franklin acknowledged that his absence would be “definitely felt.”.
“I’ve made it abundantly clear how important he and Buck are to the team’s success as well as mine.
He will be sorely missed, but we have some young players on the rise and some seasoned pros who are ready to step up and take the opportunity.

There are a few replacement options available to the Colts for Stewart.
Stewart’s backup, Eric Johnson, is listed on the Colts depth chart and will probably get the first shot at starting reps.
Taven Bryan, who has been the Colts’ top backup inside the defensive line, will also have a part to play.

A few defensive ends on the Colts can move inside to play defensive tackle.
The Colts have utilized interior pass rushers Tyquan Lewis and Dayo Odeyingbo.
On obvious passing downs, expect either one of these two players to be the main rusher in Stewart’s place.

Dayo Odeyingbo (54) of the Indianapolis Colts reacts after being sacked by the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter at U.
S. Arena Bank.

Leonard and Franklin, who play linebacker but are not defensive linemen, will probably be given more responsibility for stopping runs at the line of scrimmage.
With 77 total tackles, Franklin is already the NFL’s leading tackler this year.
Even though Leonard has been recovering from a back injury, he recently played against the Jacksonville Jaguars and had his best game of the year.
It appears as though “The Maniac” is finally rediscovering himself.

Leonard remarked, “I felt like I could get around pretty well.”.
“I believed I played aggressively and with my hands.
That was undoubtedly one of my best games, in my opinion.
dot. I believe I am making progress.

However, the truth is that Stewart cannot be replaced by just one man.
To fill his void in the middle of the line, the Colts’ defense will need to put forth a team effort.
Players must seize the chance and give it their all.

Buckner continued, “We’ve got to do a really good job inside obviously splitting up the reps.
“Guys need to take charge.
We need to step up our game and make sure we fill that void, both inside and outside the organization. Grove is undoubtedly an essential component of our defensive line and our defense.
To hold the fort until he returns, we simply need to make sure that men are stepping up.

The Colts need someone to step up in place of Stewart, despite the cliche that “next man up” means.
If not, it might be too late to save the season when Stewart does come back.


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