Taking a look at what Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today...
- Fullback Stanley Havili (concussion), cornerback Greg Toler (groin), and inside linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle) were all ruled OUT for Sunday's game.
- Pagano said that Havili's role will be filled by one of the four tight ends on the roster. MY TAKE: The four tight ends on the roster are Coby Fleener, Jack Doyle, Weslye Saunders, and the recently promoted Justice Cunningham. I wondered whether Cunningham was brought up in case Havili couldn't go, and that is still what I think. My guess is that it will be Cunningham acting as the fullback on Sunday.
- Pagano said of Greg Toler that, "we'll get him back at some point." MY TAKE: Toler practiced Monday but must have suffered a setback of sorts. He's going to miss at least one more game though, his fourth in a row coming back from the bye week. This one is against his former team, one that just so happens to have Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd as their wideouts.
- Kavell Conner "rolled an ankle" during the special teams portion of practice Thursday and after an MRI last night it was determined that he will miss this weekend's game. MY TAKE: Conner isn't a starter and so he won't be missed in that regard, but if something were to happen to one of the starters (Jerrell Freeman and Pat Angerer) then it would be Kelvin Sheppard (gah!) stepping in instead of Conner. Although, the coaches have actually done that when both Sheppard and Conner are healthy for whatever reason, so maybe they won't even miss him in that regard either.
- Josh Gordy (groin), safety LaRon Landry (toe), and running back Trent Richardson (calf) are all QUESTIONABLE on Sunday.
- Regarding Trent Richardson, Pagano said that he reaggrivated his calf injury in practice that he has been dealing with for the past few weeks and that he was limited for the past few days as a result, but Pagano expects him to play. MY TAKE: The Colts need Richardson to play. They absolutely need him too.
- LaRon Landry talked to the media today and informed how he injured his toe: working out. He said it was from "just doing like resistance work, stuff like that. I kind of stomped on it too hard coming out of my breaks and it flared up. It's sort of minimal, but quite aggravating. So once the aggravation calms down, I'll be alright." MY TAKE: How fitting for Landry to be injured working out. Like, seriously, that's the perfect example of who LaRon Landry is. Perfect. But in all seriousness, I expect him to play Sunday, but that is in no way a certainty.
- Talking about newly signed running back Chris Rainey, Pagano said: "Really everything that we saw on tape when we evaluated him coming out of college and what he did his first year. He's very explosive for a guy being out for the amount of time that he's been out. He's really been amazing, to be honest with you. He's a great athlete. He's got tremendous quickness, speed, acceleration, burst, football instincts. Catches everything - punts and kickoffs, catching balls out of the backfield, running the card team, the look team for us. Didn't miss a beat. It looked like he'd been playing for somebody for the last whatever, so he looked good." MY TAKE: If he looked that good, put him at kick returner. He can't do much worse than David Reed has, even though he hasn't played anywhere since January. He's absolutely worth a try at returner this Sunday.
- Pagano once again was asked about facing Bruce Arians on Sunday, and he said the standard stuff about how "it's about our players. It's about the Colts playing the Cards." He said that ultimately, "it's about trying to win a football game." Pagano said that they really don't think about these things until the media brings them up. MY TAKE: Pagano has already had an experience similar to this in that he faced someone else really close to him, his brother John, earlier this season. Pagano is saying the right things (as is Arians in Arizona, by the way), and if the Colts lay an egg it won't be because they were too focused on Arians. That's silly.
- Pagano was rather non-commital when asked about Da'Rick Rogers' impact on the passing game, saying: "Yeah, he's doing a great job. Like we said, we know skillset-wise what he brings to the table. He's a smart guy. Again, the roster mechanics and trying to figure out because of injuries and those type of things, there's a lot of things that go into trying to figure out who's going to be up and who's going to be down. If the stars all line up right, there might be a possibility. But again, that remains to be seen yet." MY TAKE: I'd be very surprised if Rogers is inactive on Sunday and I expect him to get some snaps as well. It probably won't be a ton, but with the way the Colts' receiving corps are right now, he deserves a chance.
- In regards to the Colts secondary, Pagano said: "We just got to get back to playing like we played early in the season. You got to challenge guys, the communication's got to be there and the fundamentals, the techniques, all those things. It doesn't help when you have guys out. But we got guys that, you know, it's next man up and they got to step in and do the job. We all know what we face come Sunday. You got a great wide receiver corps. We're going to get challenged... But that's okay. That's why we play the game and that's what they get paid to do, them cover guys, is make sure the ball doesn't get behind them." MY TAKE: Yeah, they've got to get back to playing like they were early on. How they do that, I don't know, but if they're just waiting on the entire starting secondary to be together at once, that's not going to work. The Colts face a big test this Sunday with Fitzgerald and Floyd, and they won't have Toler either. Can Pagano get this secondary playing well again? That will be a big key to watch.