Taking a look at what Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today...
- Fullback Stanley Havili has concussion symptoms and he is day-to-day, although he won't practice today. He has to go through the concussion protocol before he is cleared to play. MY TAKE: With Havili not a sure thing to play on Sunday, perhaps it makes more sense now why the Colts promoted tight end Justice Cunningham yesterday. In addition to tight end, he could also fill in at fullback if Havili can't go.
- Cornerback Greg Toler (groin) and safety Delano Howell (neck), both of whom have missed the past three games due to their injuries, are both day-to-day and Pagano is hopeful that the Colts will get them both back this week. He called Toler a "shutdown corner" and said that with the Colts facing the wide receiver tandem of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, getting Toler back would be big. MY TAKE: It would certainly be big for the defense if they could get Toler back, because the secondary has been getting torched in the three games he has missed. Getting him back should help quite a bit. I wouldn't call him a shutdown corner, but I do agree that getting him back would be big.
- Safety LaRon Landry (toe) and running back Daniel "Boom" Herron (ankle) are both day-to-day as well with their injuries. MY TAKE: Another injury to LaRon Landry. I'm sure that'll go over well with the fans...
- Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was limited in the second half of the win over the Titans with an ankle injury, but Pagano said that DHB's ankle is fine. MY TAKE: Pagano said that DHB's ankle is fine, but what about his hands?
- As expected Bjoern Werner will get the start for Erik Walden at outside linebacker this Sunday against the Cardinals, Pagano said. Walden was suspended one game by the NFL for an illegal head butt. Pagano said that Walden's suspension was a matter between the linebacker and the league and that he wouldn't comment on it. MY TAKE: It will be good experience for Werner seeing the majority of the snaps in the game, but I'm not sure it will be that significant of an improvement, if any. Walden was really starting to play well. Werner will definitely be a player to keep a close eye on during the game Sunday.
- Pagano talked about running back Chris Rainey, who was signed by the Colts this morning. Pagano addressed concerns about off the field issues by saying that the team did their due diligence on him and that they believe that Rainey has learned from his mistakes and added that Rainey knows what is expected of him. Pagano was asked whether the signing is temporary, since Rainey is taking Walden's spot for just one game and any further time would require another roster move. Pagano simply said, "time will tell." MY TAKE: I think it is clear that Rainey was brought in as a returner, and I think the Colts should try him out there as soon as Sunday. They need something other than David Reed at returner because, well, David Reed stinks.
- Pagano talked about the Cardinals' offense under Bruce Arians, and described it as: "run it and throw it down the field as far as you can." MY TAKE: Yeah, that's pretty accurate.
- Earlier in the day, Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians had said that they were treating the game like a playoff game for the Cardinals. Chuck Pagano, when asked about that, added: "and us. It's all playoff football right now." MY TAKE: That's a good mindset to have, and it certainly is an important game for the Colts in their race to earn a first round bye in the playoffs. But still, for a team with a three game lead in their division, it's hard to replicate a playoff feel.