As was expected, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano today officially ruled three players out for the team's game this Sunday against their AFC South rival Tennessee Titans: tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle), cornerback Greg Toler (neck), and cornerback Darius Butler (hip). Furthermore, Pagano said that outside linebacker Trent Cole (hamstring), cornerback Sheldon Price (ankle) and cornerback Vontae Davis (concussion) are questionable, though Pagano said that Davis will play and will start.
Despite Davis being cleared to play (which is huge), the Colts will again be tested when it comes to their cornerback position. Toler will miss his third straight regular season game, while Butler will miss for the second straight week. Toler was back at practice this week in a limited, non-contact role, however, so that's a positive sign that he's at least heading in the right direction. And Pagano said today that the Colts are hopeful that Butler will be back next week, which would be good news for a team badly needing help at the position. For the time being, however, Jalil Brown will make his second straight start at cornerback opposite of Davis. According to Pro Football Focus, Brown was targeted nine times against the Jets and allowed eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown, with Ryan Fitzpatrick having a 153.7 rating when throwing Brown's way. That's not good (at all), but let's not be too hard on him - he entered training camp as the fifth corner yet had to guard the likes of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker last week. What it shows us is that the Colts need Greg Toler and Darius Butler back as soon as possible, but that won't be this Sunday.
UPDATE: Sheldon Price is also questionable with an ankle injury that kept him out of practice on Friday. He was not previously on the injury report this week, however, so we don't really know what to make of the injury. If he can't go, however, that would obviously be even worse - meaning that the Colts might be with only three cornerbacks in Davis, Brown, and the newly signed Josh Thomas. I'd guess that we'll get an indication before Sunday if Price can't play, perhaps in the form of Eric Patterson being signed to the active roster. UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: The Colts have indeed signed Eric Patterson and have waived/injured Price. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the team's injured reserve.
As for Allen, he was injured during Monday night's loss to the Jets and didn't practice at all this week. This will be the 19th game that he has missed in the last three seasons, having played in 16 during that time span. He is an important part of the offense and the Colts will miss him, but it's also not good for him on a contract year to have an injury this early in the year already. Hopefully, he's able to get past it and stay healthy after this. But this Sunday, as the Colts are talking about getting the tight ends more involved, that won't be with Allen but instead with Coby Fleener and Jack Doyle.