From the "really bad news department" comes this tweet from Phil B:
#Colts coach Jim Caldwell concedes a "level of concern" about TE Jacob Tamme's back injury. Who plays TE if he's out? Good question.
And this follow-up:
#Colts rookie OG Jacques McClendon is still considered a TE this week. If Tamme can't go, it would be him and Gijon Robinson.
[Editor's Note: Both Tamme and Eldridge practiced today, so both might indeed play Sunday. Still, I would have to think, like most of the roster, both guys are playing hurt and out of necessity. Sounds like, despite early indications, both might be available vs the Bengals, however.]
I guess we're assuming that Brody Eldridge is still sidelined with a rib injury, but if that holds true, the Colts' TE situation is about as dire as it gets. Consequentially, the Colts' lack of offensive firepower is becoming a huge concern. Last week, the Eagles conceded Jacob Tamme and locked down everyone else (i.e. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon.) With a running game reduced to one "healthy" RB who knew the playbook between the 20s, Peyton Manning was forced to go to the air often and really only seemed to have Tamme open consistently. Garcon turned in a drop-heavy, lackluster performance and Wayne was largely limited to quick screens and slants.
Without Tamme, the Colts have no real receiving threat at TE. Jacques McClendon is an offensive line convert playing out of necessity only and throwing to Gijon Robinson is akin to throwing to a stop sign. Clang.
If we don't see the Colts bring in any tight ends this week, I think we can assume Tamme will be playing (and probably playing through injury), as surely the Colts wouldn't really go into their next contest with McClendon and Robinson the only TEs...one of those two, of course, not even being a real TE. Still, it's a reminder of just how bad the injury situation is in Indianapolis. And further proof that, if the Colts earn a postseason berth, the MVP award should be named after Peyton Manning.