Kwity Paye's Preseason Debut Highlighted By First NFL Sack

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After sitting retired the Indianapolis Colts’ archetypal preseason game, the squad unleashed 2021 first-round prime Kwity Paye for Saturday’s preseason matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The Michigan borderline rusher didn’t disappoint, earning his archetypal NFL sack. Andrew Walker

MINNEAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Colts were yet capable to unleash Kwity Paye connected Saturday night, and the talented rookie borderline rusher surely didn't disappoint.

After sitting retired the Colts' archetypal preseason game, Paye, the Colts' first-round (21st-overall) prime successful this year's NFL Draft retired of Michigan, made his nonrecreational debut successful Saturday's 2nd preseason matchup against the Minneapolis Vikings astatine U.S. Bank Stadium.

Early successful the 2nd quarter, Paye utilized his unsocial blend of velocity and powerfulness - and an awesome maneuver with his hands - to get by Vikings near tackle Rashod Hill and instrumentality seasoned backmost Kirk Cousins to the crushed for his archetypal nonrecreational sack.

Welcome to the NFL, rook.

"I deliberation it's large to get immoderate acquisition - you know, benignant of consciousness it out," Paye told's Larra Overton connected the sideline during the TV broadcast. "There's thing similar the game. Practice is practice, but erstwhile you travel retired to the game, it's a antithetic feeling for sure."

After playing mostly reserves successful their archetypal preseason contention - a 21-18 triumph implicit the Carolina Panthers astatine Lucas Oil Stadium - Colts caput manager Frank Reich decided to play a bulk of projected starters successful Saturday night's 2nd preseason crippled against the Vikings, who followed suit with their lineup.

Paye, who sat retired the Panthers contention arsenic a precaution owed to a insignificant ankle injury, earned the commencement astatine antiaircraft extremity for the Colts connected Saturday night. He logged 15 antiaircraft snaps successful all, arsenic good arsenic 3 peculiar teams snaps, and said helium made definite to soak up the acquisition of his first-ever NFL crippled astatine each opportunity.

"It conscionable felt truthful large to beryllium successful that passageway with the guys, and conscionable to unrecorded my dreams, really," helium said.

But the rookie besides had a occupation to do.

After delivering immoderate awesome pass-rushing performances successful 1-on-1 and squad drills passim grooming camp, Paye showed helium could construe that occurrence into crippled action. Early successful the 2nd quarter, the Vikings, who led 7-6, began a thrust with 4 consecutive palmy tally plays of eight, nine, six and 9 yards, mounting up 1st and 10 astatine the Indianapolis 32-yard line.

On that play, the Vikings went with play action, trying to fool the Indy defence into packing it successful to halt a 5th consecutive tally attempt. But Paye knew what was coming.

"Every clip I travel disconnected the field, manager (Brian Baker) tells maine to conscionable spot it - conscionable enactment connected that borderline and deed that stab-club," Paye said. "So they did a play enactment play - I knew it was going to beryllium a pass. I conscionable kept going, I rushed and did the stab-club, and ended up with a sack."

That "stab-club" is simply a walk unreserved method that Paye has been moving hard to cleanable passim camp. He said helium got a small emotion from antiaircraft enactment manager Brian Baker erstwhile returned to the sideline aft his archetypal nonrecreational sack.

"Yeah, we shook hands and stuff," Paye said with a smile, "and past aft that helium started giving maine my feedback: 'Just marque definite you enactment connected it.'"

Perhaps astir importantly: Paye's large play - resulting successful a nonaccomplishment of 8 yards - halted the Vikings' momentum. Three plays alter, kicker Greg Joseph would propulsion his 51-yard tract extremity effort wide right. The Colts would extremity up winning the crippled 12-10 to determination to 2-0 connected the preseason.

Paye and the Colts wrapper up preseason enactment Friday nighttime connected the road, erstwhile they instrumentality connected the Detroit Lions astatine Ford Field. That crippled volition beryllium played conscionable 45 miles westbound of Michigan Stadium, wherever Paye starred arsenic an All-Big Ten enactment for the Wolverines.

After getting a sensation of that NFL enactment connected Saturday, Paye said he's eagerly awaiting his adjacent accidental to get connected the tract with his teammates.

"I deliberation it's great," helium said. "In practice, conscionable however we practice, arsenic a defense, however we tally to the shot and being capable to spot it against existent contention was amazing. And past to travel retired present and play with this defence was great."

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