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Colts' Bjoern Werner: 'I can be a baller' when healthy

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The Indianapolis Colts selected Bjoern Werner No. 24 overall in 2013 to bolster their pass rush. In two seasons he has 6.5 sacks, combined.

The 24-year-old German-born outside linebacker said injuries have sidetracked his career thus far.

"It's that simple," Werner said, via the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder. "Since I've entered the league, I haven't been healthy one time."

During his rookie season Werner suffered foot and knee injuries that derailed his development. Last season a shoulder injury short-circuited his production and ultimately led to him being shut down for the AFC Championship Game.

Werner said he's tried to play through the injuries and not make a big deal about being hurt during the season. But he understands the reality that he's not produced at a first-round level and is aware of the growing perception that he's a bust.

"I don't want to sound cocky, but personally, I feel like when I'm out there and healthy, I can be a baller," he said. "I can do it all. You always have to get that mojo going of course. But I'm telling you, I'm confident I can be an NFL player and a starter in this league."

As Holder points out, Werner had his most productive stretch early last season, when healthy. The pass-rusher compiled all four of his sacks in a three-game stretch from Week 5 to Week 7. After that is when Werner says the shoulder injury hurt his production.

The linebacker remains on the sidelines at the start of organized team activities still dealing with the shoulder injury.

Werner's play needs to drastically improve in 2015. The Colts' lack of a true, young pass rusher sticks out like a sore thumb when analyzing their roster. Whether injuries are to blame or not, another year without producing and the bust label will stick.

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