INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Greg Toler could see everything playing out right in front of him.
Late in last week’s game at Jacksonville, he saw the Colts defensive line put some pressure on quarterback Blake Bortles, forcing him to scramble. Then Toler’s eye caught a Jaguars receiver cutting across the field towards him.
“Bortles kind of just stared him down the whole way just waiting for him to get in his throwing lane,” he said. “I kind of just snuck from my man to the guy coming across and just happened to jump into it. From there on, I was just looking for blue jerseys and they led me to the end zone.”
Easy as that.
Toler’s score put the game away. Indy’s first win of the season.
The sixth year cornerback is starting to find a groove.
He is tied for second in the NFL for interceptions with two this season. He had one in Week 2 against Philadelphia, too.
Another takeaway on Sunday against Tennessee (1-2) would be the first time in Toler’s career to record an interception in three straight games.
It’s been hard. He’s dealt with nagging injuries for much of his career.
“Just staying healthy has always been my biggest thing in my career,” he said. “I feel like if I stay healthy then I can match-up with any guy on the field. I just have to feel good. If my body feels good, the sky’s the limit.”
In 2011, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury. For much of last season he fought through a groin injury before having surgery this offseason.
Injury after injury. From his shoulder to his foot to his elbow. His back, hip, and hamstring.
Now, Toler has sore ribs — an injury he suffered in the season-opener at Denver. He returned Thursday after sitting out part of Wednesday’s practice and the Colts (1-2) expect him to play Sunday against the Titans.
Toler is needed. He’s part of a strong trio in the Indianapolis secondary.
Like Toler, Vontae Davis and Darius Butler have found a groove, too.
Davis had an interception against Jacksonville — a turnover the Colts turned into a touchdown.
Butler was in on the action, too. He recovered a fumble late in the first half of last week’s game. Another turnover that Indy converted into a touchdown.
“We want to put our fingerprint on the game,” Butler said. “We want to make plays when we have opportunities to make plays. We’re clicking right now and I think we’ll get better with the more reps we get. As the season continues each week, we’ll get better and better and making more and more plays.”
Like Toler, Davis (ankle) and Butler (neck) missed some or all of practice on Wednesday and returned for full practice on Thursday, and are expected to play this week.
Things are simply falling in place for Indy’s cornerbacks, but it didn’t happen overnight. It’s been something that has come together over time. Toler says it started as the three began building a relationship when they were drafted in the same class back in 2009.
“It’s a good thing that we all came in at the same time,” he said. “We knew one another coming into (the Colts) at that point. Last season we saw it really forming and we knew what we were capable of.”
Toler saw it despite last season’s injury. The support, communication and involvement he had with Davis and Butler back then has carried over to this season with the way they prepare, communicate and work together, Toler said.
And the Colts are better with Butler, Davis, and Toler, too. The combination certainly makes it easy for guys like veteran safety Mike Adams.
“They have the capabilities of just locking in one-on-one and they don’t need the help over the top like some corners do in the league,” Adams said. “The tandem we have is one of the best I’ve ever seen.”