When middle linebacker Gary Brackett was lost for the season in September after requiring surgery on his left rotator cuff, many expected the Indianapolis Colts defense to suffer.
True to form, the unit has under-performed this season, but Brackett's replacement has been stellar.
Pat Angerer, a second-round pick in 2010, has made 111 tackles, which ranks second this season only to the Washington Redskins' London Fletcher. The 6-foot, 235-pound Angerer is averaging 9.3 tackles and is on pace to finish with 148.
Angerer may have stunned many within the NFL, but his production hasn't had the same effect on Marshal Yanda, the Ravens' starting right guard who spent one season with Angerer at the University of Iowa.
"He's a good player, and he's doing a really good job," said Yanda, who worked out with Angerer at Iowa in the offseason. "It's a credit to him that he's playing that much, and he was leading the NFL in tackles at one point. I was like, 'Wow, that's awesome. Good for him.' So yeah, he's doing a good job."
Angerer, however, played just one series in the team's 31-24 loss to the New England Patriots after injuring his right knee. Angerer, who practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday after sitting out Wednesday's session, is listed as questionable for Sunday's contest against the Ravens.
Yanda expects Angerer to play, saying, "He's a tough kid. He's probably going to try to play through it, but obviously, there are some injuries you can't play through. So they'll have to do what they can do."