General manager Ryan Grigson revealed Tuesday that Howell is seeing “multiple people” to get an educated opinion on the injury, which has kept him out of practice for two weeks and is likely linked to the issue that landed the safety on injured reserve for 10 games last season.
Howell began training camp as the Colts’ starting strong safety. He’s in a contract year, too, so the decision will take into account his NFL future.
“Any time there’s anything with the neck, you’ve got to cross your T’s and dot your I’s,” Grigson said. “That’s a serious area. It’s something that’s been nagging him. He’s going through a whole entire process of seeing multiple people so he can formulate that opinion with his wife and his agent and himself and (coach) Chuck (Pagano) and all of us, and make the decision that’s best for Delano.”
Howell is in his third season, and started three of six games played last season. In his absence, the Colts have been looking at several players, Mike Adams, Sergio Brown, Colt Anderson and Dewey McDonald. Adams, an 11th-year pro who played for Denver last season, is the likely replacement.
“Just to be blunt, if you’re out here, you’re going to have more of an edge than the guy that’s not out here,” Grigson said, when asked if Adams had an edge on the job. “That’s just the way this league works. It sounds cruel but sometimes the best ability is availability as they say, and that’s just the way this league works.
“It’s not just Mike Adams. We have some guys over there that are starting to emerge and doing some really good things and playing good football. If they keep showing up in these preseason games, I hope they make it hard on us to see who starts.”
Pagano mentioned the many options in his Tuesday’s news conference at the complex.
“We’ll keep plugging away and we’ve got time,” he said. “We’ve got two preseason games to go, got a full week of practice this week and a few days next week. Between Sergio, Mike, Colt, Dewey, LaRon (Landry), we’ve got a bunch of guys back there still competing. We feel like we’re in a good position.”
Grigson was asked about the severity of the injury.
“Like I said, we are just going to keep getting the information as it comes,” he said. “He’s a guy that we hope is back but like I said, it’s a neck. I can’t make judgments on a neck. That’s what the doctors are for. That’s why he’s getting multiple opinions because you want to make sure that everybody has their opinion going in the same direction because it’s not like you’re dealing with a fingernail here.
“You’re dealing with your neck and that’s something that has to be really looked at with a fine-tooth comb. No decisions have been made. There’s no feeling one way or another where he’s going to be, here or not be here. We want him to see as many people as possible so he’s comfortable with going in one of those directions. We’ll see. We’ll have some information here hopefully by the end of the week.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.