By now we all know how abysmal the Colts looked against the Bills this past Sunday. It was truly bad. As is the case most weeks of the pre- and regular season, however, there has been a plethora of both over and under reactions. It's true that it's only the preseason, but this doesn't bode well for the regular season. On the other hand, one bad preseason game does not mean the entire year is toast. In my opinion, the Colts' performance against the Bills means the entire squad is on notice for the game against the Giants. That terrible performance isn't cause for gloom and doom, but it also isn't something to brush aside because it's the preseason. With that in mind, let's take a look at five players who are on the hot seat for various reasons this week.
Coby Fleener, TE: any list of players on the hot seat heading in to Sunday has to at least mention Coby Fleener. Regardless of whether you believe his fumble and TD drop were the result of poor hands or stellar defense, there's no denying that both instances high lighted something we all have been fearing at least a little bit: Coby Fleener is not living up to expectations. Perhaps more damning, though, is how fragile he seems. When you miss much of your rookie year because of injuries and then suffer a concussion in the very first preseason game in your second year, the injury prone label is going to start hanging around. Coby must demonstrate that he can take NFL hits, or he'll be unemployed next off-season.
Dominique Jones, TE: Jones isn't on the hot seat because of poor play--quite the opposite. Right now there is a battle for TE3 that Justice Cunningham is winning. Jones will need to "make himself necessary" to close the gap or, better yet, convince the coaching staff to keep 4 TEs on the roster. If the 53 man roster were announced today, the only way Jones is on the list is if there are four at his position.
Josh McNary, LB: Everyone was stoked to hear about the signing of McNary. His highlight reel is insane, and he's a former officer in the Army. What's not to like? Well, for starters, he hasn't played. As Josh Wilson has pointed out multiple times, if McNary can't take the field he won't make the roster. We all know his potential is through the roof, but there are proven players who are gunning for spots ahead of him.
Kerwynn Williams, RB: This is a player a BUNCH of people were excited about heading in to camp. To say he underwhelmed in his preseason debut would almost be an understatement. He was drafted to be a return specialist but failed to make any kind of statement in the return game. All of our returners were bad, but Williams didn't even look like the best among them. As a runner his stat line looked decent, but he appeared to be slow, and all his damage was done against the bottom of the Bills' defensive barrel. With the backlog the Colts have at RB, Williams absolutely must make a statement this week. The third preseason game will see him get very little time, and if he is relying on the fourth preseason game to make a statement, he's probably gone. As it stands, Brown is ahead of him for RB3.
Greg Toler, CB: It seemed that everyone but me was excited about the signing of Toler to play opposite Vontae Davis. Unfortunately, he underwhelmed in his preseason debut with the Colts. I doubt he will be replaced on the depth chart, but it's possible someone like Darius Butler could outplay him for the rest of the preseason and find himself the permanent replacement if Toler goes down with an injury even for a game or two. Hopefully Toler never goes down, but he does have a troubling injury history. Toler needs to make himself necessary early and often to prevent against potential replacement due to injury.