According to Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, starting cornerback Pierre Desir suffered a muscle tear in his shoulder in Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and will be placed on season-ending injured reserve (via Fox 59/CBS 4’s Mike Chappell):
Pagano: Pierre Desir muscle tear. Our for season.
— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) December 4, 2017
The 4th-year cornerback was injured to start the 2nd quarter tackling Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook along the sideline on a 6-yard pass reception and did not return to the game.
Obviously, it’s a significant blow to the Indianapolis secondary, as the Colts are already without their number one cornerback, fellow starter Rashaan Melvin, who remains ‘week-to-week’ with a hand injury.
Having been claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks following their 53-man roster cuts, the 27 year old Desir had been a pleasant surprise for the Colts secondary in recent weeks as a starter. He started the last 5 games for the Colts and on the season, Desir had 32 tackles, an interception, and 7 passes defensed in 9 games (6 starts). Desir showed flashes of the promise that once made him a 4th round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
Simply stated, he provided a solid starting option next to Melvin when both were healthy at cornerback and was presumably part of the reason why struggling veteran cornerback Vontae Davis was deemed expendable and subsequently released earlier this season.
With Desir out along with Melvin, the Colts will have to again turn to the likes of some young cornerbacks in a depleted secondary such as undrafted rookie Kenny Moore, 2nd-year pro Chris Milton, and rookie 2nd round pick Quincy Wilson–who finally got some meaningful playing time again Sunday, having not appeared in a game since Week 2 previously. That is, in addition to rookie nickelback Nate Hairston, who has his role firmly solidified.
It’s quite likely that the Colts will add a ‘street free agent’ too at cornerback for extra depth once the team officially places Desir on injured reserve with their freed up 53-man roster spot (although 2nd-year cornerback D.J. White, who was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs in early November could be a candidate for an expanded role as well).
It’s an unfortunate development for Desir, as he was enjoying himself a bit of a breakout season with the Colts and will be a free agent at season’s end. However, given how he’s played, it seems logical that the Colts would have interest in re-signing him this offseason.
One silver lining from Sunday was that in Kelly’s absence, fill-in starter Mike Person was actually one of the Colts best performers (which isn’t saying much) per Pro Football Focus with a +83.8 grade overall.
Update (6:12 PM EST): The Colts have officially placed Desir on season-ending injured reserve and re-signed running back Matt Jones in a corresponding 53-man roster move.