Taking a look at what Chuck Pagano said in his press conference today...
- Linebacker Kavell Conner and cornerback Greg Toler were both ruled OUT for Sunday's game. Safety Sergio Brown and cornerback Josh Gordy are both QUESTIONABLE. And cornerback Vontae Davis, fullback Stanley Havili, and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton are all PROBABLE. MY TAKE: Nothing really surprising here. The three biggest names on the injury report were probably the three that are listed as probable and are likely to play, so that's good news as well.
- Regarding Greg Toler, Pagano was asked about whether they're considering shutting him down for the season at this point. Pagano said that Toler is "real close" and added that he would be "shocked" if Toler is not ready next week. MY TAKE: This will be his fifth game missed and his sixth week injured (he had the bye week to recover, too), and it seems like every week they're hopeful he'll play. His comments are obviously encouraging (to a degree) on Toler, but we'll just have to wait and see.
- Pagano said that Chris Rainey will return kickoffs. MY TAKE: this is what everyone expected, but it is now official.
- Pagano added that T.Y. Hilton is good to go and is also good to go at punt returner, but said that they may use LaVon Brazill or Chris Rainey at punt returner too, so he said not to be surprised if that happens. MY TAKE: T.Y. Hilton is so important to the offense that it shouldn't be a big surprise nor a bad move to take him off of punt return duties. It sounds like, while it's not certain, they are at least considering doing so.
- Asked about the Colts on third down, Pagano specifically mentioned third downs in the first half and said that "that's what's been one of our major Achilles heels right now." MY TAKE: For the first half of the season, the Colts were one of the best in the league on third down, but recently they've been bad. Pagano is right when talking about how it has hurt them so far.
- Pagano spoke about the magnitude of the game this weekend against the Titans: "Yeah. And that's the way we've approached it from a preparation standpoint. You've got a chance to seal the division, put a nail in the coffin, however you want to put it. And we've got to play, just from a confidence standpoint, someone's going to get hot in the league. Somebody's going to get hot going down the stretch. And so to win this football game and be 8-4 with four games to go and start trending in the right direction, we need to play well in all three phases. This game is huge." MY TAKE: Yeah, this weekend's game is massive in terms of winning the AFC South for the Colts. Huge. Huge.
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