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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Colts Injury Update: Fili Moala tears ACL in OTAs, placed on injured reserve list

By on 6/14/2014 12:00:00 PM

The NFL's Organized Team Activities has claimed yet another victim this past week.  The Indianapolis Colts' veteran defensive end Fili Moala tore his anterior cruciate ligament and has been placed on the season-ending injured reserve list, according to Mike Chappell of the Indy Star.  This is the third straight year that Moala has been placed on the IR.

The 28 year-old defensive lineman partially tore his ACL after colliding with a teammate during OTAs and his knee buckled, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported initially on Twitter:
After missing half of the 2012 season due to an ACL tear, Moala returned last season and played in all 16 games and posted 19 combined tackles, 21 quarterback hurries and 1.5 sacks.  The Colts re-signed Moala to a one-year, $1.4 million contract in March, $300,000 of which was guaranteed, and anticipated him representing experienced depth along their defensive line.  Defensive line coach Gary Emanuel spoke on Moala following Wednesday's OTA workout:
Any time you lose a player of his caliber who's started games and played in some important games for us, it always hurts you.  But you hope it's next man up and someone will be able to come in and produce and lead us on
Chosen by Indianapolis in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Moala had a quiet rookie year but then exploded on the defensive front for the Colts.  He has a career 88 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 64 regular season games played.
Indianapolis Colts via Wikimedia Commons
Unfortunately, Moala is no stranger to injuries.  In his rookie year, he played in 10 games and had a concussion and knee injury.  In 2011 he missed two games with an ankle injury and then his 2012 campaign was cut short by the ACL tear in his right knee, causing him to miss eight games.  Last season, he was again placed on the IR during the playoffs with an undisclosed knee injury.

This is a big setback for Moala, who had worked his way into an important role in the Colts’ defensive line rotation in recent years.  It's even a bigger loss for the Colts, despite the offseason signing of former Baltimore Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones.

Last year, Indianapolis had only three defensive ends and two defensive tackles healthy at the end of the season. The Colts like to rotate their defensive linemen, so someone, possibly a player who can play more than one position up front, will likely need to step up.

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