Last week's injury report for the Colts included 15 players - or 28.3 percent of the roster. More significantly, last week's injury report included 9 "starters" out of 22 (40.9 percent), two more guys who have started games along the offensive line, and a special teams standout. That's a pretty massive hit to any team, especially one already hit with numerous season-ending injuries earlier in the year.
Granted, not everyone listed on the injury report was out last week, and in fact a lot of them weren't. But their status last week really doesn't matter. What matters is their status less than two weeks from now when the playoffs start. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano gave some encouraging reports on the injured Colts during his press conference on Monday.
Here is Pagano's update on the injuries:
"Injury-wise, update on the guys that have been out. Ricky Jean (Francois) is doing better. Sergio Brown looks like he's doing better and get back out at practice hopefully this week. Montori Hughes, same thing, is doing better. Hugh Thornton looks like he'll be able to get back out there probably Thursday. Jeff Linkenbach same thing. Daniel Adongo is fine. He'll be back out there. Joe Reitz is doing well. He passed an impact test so he's been cleared to practice. He'll go through the week and then finish up. On Friday, he'll see one of the doctors for the final portion of that protocol. From the game, Cory Redding, MRI came back negative. That's good news. We were thin anyway at the defensive line spot. He should be okay. He may miss tomorrow and then Thursday hopefully he'll be back out there. Other than that, we're doing great."
For this team, getting everyone back healthy is massive. It couldn't happen at a better time, and if those players are back for the playoffs, a Colts team that is coming off of two dominating wins in a row could be ready to make some noise.
As we all know, the playoffs are usually about which team gets hot at the right time. The Colts just a few weeks ago looked like a definite one and done team, but after the past two games, that's not the case anymore. In a very weak AFC, perhaps the Colts can do something. It just depends on which Colts team shows up, and I don't know which it will be. What I do know, however, is that getting the injured guys back for the playoffs will be a huge boost and it will be perfect timing for the Colts. They've had the division locked up for a while - get the guys back for the playoffs and that's all that really counts. I'd even be in favor of resting a guy like T.Y. Hilton - a major factor in the offense but a guy who is fighting through a lingering shoulder injury - this weekend against the Jaguars. You absolutely want to win this week, but most important is being healthy for the playoffs.
It looks like the Colts are doing just that, and they very well might be the healthiest they have been in weeks when the playoffs start. This is all hope and speculation, of course, as we can never really tell for sure with injuries, but the latest update is positive and the timing couldn't be more perfect.