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The next-man-up mantra means something extra to Indianapolis Colts safety Delano Howell.
Last week, Howell earned his first start at safety when LaRon Landry was ruled out with an ankle injury. Howell ended up playing well as one of several former Stanford players going up against former college coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers.
Howell looks to be back on the field again at 1 p.m. Sunday in Jacksonville, again manning the spot for the injured Landry.
Here's a quick look at Howell:
Ht: 5-11; Wt: 196; Age: 23; College: Stanford; Route to Colts: Signed by the Colts off the Bills practice squad last November
Fast facts: In his first career start last Sunday at San Francisco, Howell ranked second on the Colts with seven tackles (two solo) and a team-leading two passed defensed. He played in five games for Colts and one for the Bills last season. In 2011, was All-Pac 12 first-team defensive back.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano on Howell: We knew what Delano was going to do. Just watch the preseason, right? He was as productive a player as anybody in the preseason. He's one of those guys that comes to work every day, works at his craft, studies the game. He's hard-nosed, he's tough, he's a team player and he prepares, and took full advantage of his opportunity.”
Howell on being the "next man up" against 49ers: “I kind of knew there was a possibility and there's a purpose why I'm on the team. I'm willing to do whatever I'm asked, whether defense or special teams. I just have to be prepared for whatever's asked.”
Howell on his first start: “I didn't really know what to expect frankly, my head was spinning in a million different directions. Being my first start and everything, I just wanted to make sure to go out and do my job and move around.”
Howell on learning from Antonie Bethea and Landry: “I look up to both Antoine and Landry. If I can exemplify what they do on the field, then I'll feel pretty good about myself. To have guys in front of you that you can learn from and gain things from, it's definitely very beneficial.”