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The Indianapolis Colts are preparing to take the field against the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football, but they might be down several players because of the short week.
In their official injury report, the Colts list three players as out for the game and five others as questionable. Starting inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman didn't practice at all this week with a groin injury and he won't play. Running back Tyler Varga will miss his second straight game with a concussion, while outside linebacker Bjoern Werner will also be out due to a hamstring injury (one that was described by Chuck Pagano as week to week, meaning he could miss extended time).
As for the questionable players, starting quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) and his backup Matt Hasselbeck (illness) are both listed as questionable, though Hasselbeck was a full participant in today's practice, which would seem to suggest that he's getting over his illness. Starting safety Mike Adams (neck) is also questionable, though he too was a full participant today after first appearing on the injury report yesterday when sitting out. Starting defensive lineman Henry Anderson practiced today in a limited role today for the first time this week and is listed as questionable, while starting cornerback Vontae Davis is also questionable after not practicing at all this week.
The rest of the players on the injury report (Dwayne Allen, Frank Gore, Kendall Langford, and Greg Toler) are all probable for the game. Keep in mind too that the Colts placed cornerback Jalil Brown on injured reserve today, meaning that they are down another depth corner.
Let's try to sift through this a bit, because it's a lengthy list. We still don't know about Andrew Luck's status for the game, as he will likely be a game time decision. It does seem, however, that there is a much better chance of him going this Thursday than there was last week, and the Colts expect him to be out there. Him being questionable should be no surprise, as he's likely to be a game time decision. It's important to have Hasselbeck healthy, therefore, in case he needs to start again. The Colts re-signed Josh Johnson today as a third quarterback to give them depth with Luck hurt and Hasselbeck sick.
I would also say that it doesn't look too good for Henry Anderson or Vontae Davis' chances of playing this Thursday. Anderson sat out of practice on Monday and Tuesday and was limited Wednesday, while Davis hasn't practiced at all this week. Davis is actually the first player for the Colts this year to not practice at all during the week and not be ruled out when the final injury report was released, and while it's hard to speculate on these things, I don't think it's looking likely for Davis to be out there (or Anderson, for that matter).
The Colts will be short-handed on Thursday, but that's simply the nature of playing on a Thursday after playing on Sunday. Two games in five days doesn't give much time for rest, and the Colts are pretty beat up as it is.