While this news isn't unexpected, it's still significant: three Colts starters have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, per head coach Chuck Pagano in his press conference this afternoon. Tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle), right tackle Gosder Cherilus (shoulder), and cornerback Greg Toler (concussion).
Allen was injured last week when his ankle was rolled up on. Allen said on Monday that he hoped to play on Sunday,but during his radio show on Monday night Chuck Pagano said that Allen might miss a game or two. He didn't practice at all this week and it looked very likely he would be ruled out for this Sunday's game. While expected, it doesn't make it less of an impact on the Colts. Allen is a huge threat both receiving and blocking and is a very versatile and dangerous part of the Colts' offensive attack. With Allen out and running back Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, the Colts will be without two players who have combined to catch 13 of Andrew Luck's 28 touchdown passes this year (46.4%). They have plenty of other weapons, but it's impossible to ignore the production they will miss.
Cherilus missed practice this entire week as well. On Wednesday he was listed as just getting a rest day (which is typical for the Colts to give some veteran players), but on Thursday he also missed practice with what was listed as a shoulder injury. That injury caused him to miss practice on Friday as well. He has been dealing with lingering injury issues all season, and now with the shoulder injury the Colts have ruled him out. Cherilus has not played well at all this year so I'm not sure the impact will be huge on the field, as either Joe Reitz or Xavier Nixon will step in and start in his place. Hopefully, missing this week will allow Cherilus to get healthy. This will be the first game missed by Cherilus since coming to the Colts as a free agent in 2013.
Greg Toler also missed practice this entire week as he recovers from a concussion. Chuck Pagano said that Toler came into the facility on Monday with a headache and he began going through the concussion protocol. He obviously isn't ready to play this week. The Colts will likely use Darius Butler on the outside as replacement for Toler, though when the Colts go to the nickel formation Butler will slide back into the slot with Josh Gordy playing outside.
Even though the Colts are facing the 1-9 Jaguars on Sunday, it still isn't ever good news to hear that three starters are ruled out - especially when considering that running back Ahmad Bradshaw was placed on injured reserve this week too. It's safe to say it hasn't been a great week of injury reports for the Colts.
Here's the Jaguars' injury report for the game:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jaguars?src=hash">#Jaguars</a> Injury report for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JAXvsIND?src=hash">#JAXvsIND</a>: <a href="http://t.co/PqjKUkhexG">http://t.co/PqjKUkhexG</a> <a href="http://t.co/gquGRdUgaa">pic.twitter.com/gquGRdUgaa</a></p>— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jaguars/status/535861581763313664">November 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>