If you're looking for good news, you probably shouldn't read this article. Of course, I think Colts fans are accustomed to knowing it's usually not good news when the words "Colts" and "injury" are in the same sentence.
And that's the case today. The Colts' final injury report before Sunday's game listed several key names. Here's the full injury report, and then we'll get into looking at what it means for the game at San Francisco.
LaRon Landry, safety (ankle)
Pat Angerer, linebacker (knee)
Antoine Bethea, safety (toe)
Cory Redding, defensive end (back)
Samson Satele, center (elbow)
Kavell Conner, linebacker (ankle)
Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver (ribs)
T.Y. Hilton, wide receiver (groin)
David Reed, wide receiver (quad)
Reggie Wayne, wide receiver (shoulder)
Notes on the Injury Report:
- Losing LaRon Landry, the NFL's leading tackler, hurts a lot against a physical, running 49ers football team. His absence will be felt much more so in the running game than in the passing game. That loss hurts, but especially paired up with the fact that Antoine Bethea is questionable makes it even bigger. The one positive is that of all the guys listed as "questionable" or worse, Bethea is the only one to at least practice a little on Friday (he was limited, everyone else did not practice). The Colts backup safeties, Joe Lefeged and Delano Howell, are actually very good - for backups. Compared to the starters, it's a major step backwards. My point, however, is that it shouldn't be a "sky is falling" scenario for the Colts, as the backups are capable of filling. But against the 49ers' offense especially, being without their two starting safeties (likely one of the best safety duos in the NFL when healthy) would really hurt.
- Pat Angerer played last week and I thought he played really well in his first game back from injury. Unfortunately, he lands back on the injury report this week and is questionable. With him, it's fair to wonder whether it's really worth it to keep him around when he's not healthy most of the time. He's a real good player when healthy, but that doesn't seem to be often. Regardless, if he can't play this Sunday, it's all the more important that Kavell Conner does, so it's good that he is listed as probable after missing last week's game. Because what I really don't want to see is Kelvin Sheppard getting the majority of the reps at linebacker.
- Losing Cory Redding hurts a lot as well, especially considering that the Colts' defensive line already wasn't that great with him. It won't get better without him, and against a very physical offensive line (and a physical offense as a whole) like the 49ers have, this could be a long game for the Colts defense. A very long one.
- In the minds of most fans, Samson Satele not playing could, in a way, lead to something somewhat positive for the Colts. If he doesn't play, then rookie Khaled Holmes could very likely get the nod to start in the middle of the line - which is exactly what everybody wants! But let me add another perspective to it: changing centers isn't just as easy as most think. Yeah, the Colts can do it, but there would be the bad snaps and mishandled exchanges between Holmes and Luck, especially considering the fact that Luck and Holmes likely haven't practiced together much. Heck, even this week Satele was a full participant in practice up until today, when he sat out. That leaves little room for Holmes having gotten significant snaps this week - and we know that he didn't get them in training camp, either, when the backups primarily see a lot of time. There's a reason why I said we wouldn't see a change along the line coming until at least the bye week barring injury, and if Satele can't go on Sunday I worry that we might see why. There's no doubt in my mind that long-term, Holmes is the best option for this year, but there will be adjustments and "growing pains" at first. All of this will be a moot point, however, if Satele plays, and there's a real chance of that.
- The Colts have four of their top five receivers listed on the injury report, although they are all probable. Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton, and David Reed all appear on the report, though it's very likely all will be ready to go Sunday.
- With Landry, Angerer, Bethea, Redding, and Satele all questionable or worse, and with Dwayne Allen, Donald Thomas, and Vick Ballard out for the season, the Colts could potentially be without 8 starters from the beginning of the season on Sunday. And it's only week three. Now, I know that some of the guys listed on the injury report will play, but still - that's not good.