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Colts Rule Out Three Starters for Sunday's Game

The Colts have ruled three starters out for Sunday's game against the Titans: tight end Dwayne Allen, offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus, and outside linebacker Bjoern Werner. Receiver T.Y. Hilton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman are questionable.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts will conclude the regular season on Sunday by taking on the Tennessee Titans on the road, and with the team having locked up the AFC South title and a home playoff game they'll be cautious with injured players.  As such, they have ruled three starters out for the game and two more starters are questionable.  Tight end Dwayne Allen (knee), offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin), and outside linebacker Bjoern Werner (shoulder) will miss Sunday's game.  Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) are questionable.

Allen was injured in last week's game against the Cowboys, and he too had a disastrous game (like the rest of the team), playing in just eight snaps and dropping three passes and getting injured.  This will be the third game Allen has missed this season, and despite last week he's a very important player to the Colts' offense.  He provides a threat as both a receiving and blocking tight end, and his eight touchdown receptions this season are the most on the team.  In his absence, Coby Fleener will play a bigger role and Jack Doyle could fill in some as a blocking tight end.

Cherilus will also miss his third game of the season, including his second in a row.  He's been dealing with injuries for most of the year and now he's battling through a groin injury.  Though Cherilus has been bad this year, we saw last week that Xavier Nixon did even worse, so it'll be interesting to see whether Nixon remains there or whether someone else takes his place - like Joe Reitz, who was injured last week but who started for Cherilus earlier in the year.

Werner will miss his first game of the year, though it's been a disappointing season for the second-year pass rusher.  He's racked up four sacks, but they all came in a three-week span in October.  He's developed well as a run defender, but he hasn't been great.  In his place, rookie Jonathan Newsome and veteran Shaun Phillips will step in.

As for the players who are questionable, T.Y. Hilton is clearly the second most important player on the offense (behind Andrew Luck).  He missed last week and while the Colts are hopeful he'll play this week, he's still listed as questionable.  We'll have to wait and see, but the Colts are hopeful he can go.  Jerrell Freeman was injured last week as well and he too is listed as questionable.  He didn't practice this week and I don't expect him to play, but we'll see, since he's not ruled out yet.