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Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will start on Sunday for the Indianapolis Colts against the Miami Dolphins, but the status one of his top targets is uncertain. Head coach Chuck Pagano said at his press conference today that the status of wide receiver Donte Moncrief is "still up in the air" and that he will be a game-time decision.
That is the same situation as last week, as Moncrief didn't practice at all with a foot injury that had him in a boot yet played on Sunday against the Texans, catching five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. He was a game-time decision then after not practicing, and it sounds like he will be again this week as he hasn't practiced at all.
The Colts' passing game hasn't been great recently, but it's still important to have the top targets available for Hasselbeck. T.Y. Hilton is over 1,000 yards receiving for the third straight season and will play, while Moncrief is the team's second-leading receiver, is tied for first in receptions, and leads the team in touchdown receptions. He has caught 61 passes (on 101 targets) for 720 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 11.8 yards per catch. Moncrief has really emerged as a dangerous target this season, and if the Colts hope to get their passing game going they will likely need him in the lineup.
Just because he's a game-time decision doesn't mean that he won't play, as last week he was able to get on the field and play - and he played well, too. It seems that the foot issue is lingering and still bothering him, though, so it's currently unknown whether he will play. The game isn't until Sunday, however, so the Colts will have plenty of time to evaluate him and see if he can go.
If he can't the Colts have others at the position who might be able to step up. Obviously, T.Y. Hilton is the team's number one wideout, but they also have Andre Johnson and Phillip Dorsett, along with rookie Quan Bray, who has been on the roster solely for special teams. Griff Whalen was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week, so they won't have him, meaning that if Moncrief can't go, the team will only have four wideouts. They will still have tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, though, and it might help the coaching staff remember that those two can actually catch passes. Either way, it's unlikely that the passing game will become much more dangerous until Andrew Luck gets back, but either way it's still nice to have your best wide receivers in the lineup.