Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians informed media today that Pat Angerer, Robert Mathis, Donald Brown, Joe Reitz, and Martin Tevaseu are OUT for Sunday's game against the New York Jets. Cornerback Vontae Davis is listed as doubtful, which basically means he will not play because he did not practice at all this week.
We've already covered the Mathis and Brown injuries, but Angerer's continued absence from the field hasn't gotten enough attention. Both he and Reitz have clearly suffered some kind of setback during rehab. When asked Thursday about Angerer's recovery setback, Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky avoided the direct answer and instead spouted off a bunch of yackity-yack about how the Colts will be better when Angerer returns, next man up, blah-blah-blah.
With Angerer and Reitz, I think we've gone past the "when" they will return and are now entering the "if" phase. These two players were expected back after the bye week. Now, the coaches don't seem to know when they will return. Neither has played a down in the regular season, and we are two weeks from the midway point. With Angerer, his return is not as critical as, say, Reitz's. Jerrell Freeman (35 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 TD, 1 FF) has outproduced Angerer since stepping in, and is on pace for a 140 tackle, 4 sack season. Moise Fokou and Kavell Conner have also stepped up their games.
Contrary to what folks would like to believe in a fairy tale existence, players can lose their job to injury. Happens in the real world as well.
Getting Reitz back is more immediate. His replacement, Seth Olsen, is on IR (designated for possible return) and the Colts o-line has been a train wreck all season long. They need to get some people back healthy there or quarterback Andrew Luck is going to get killed.
Jerry Hughes will start at outside linebacker for Robert Mathis while rookie Vick Ballard gets the nod at runningback for the injured Donald Brown.