Football season is upon us. The first NFL game of the year is Thursday night (TOMORROW!) as the New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then the Indianapolis Colts will open this Sunday on the road against the Buffalo Bills.
With the return of football season, we also get the return of the weekly injury report. In a normal game week, the Colts will update the injury report on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in advance of the game. That's true this week, as the Colts returned to the practice field today after a day off.
Let's take a look at the practice report for the Colts today, with some notes to follow:
Did Not Practice:
Greg Toler, CB (neck)
Vick Ballard, RB (hamstring)
Nate Irving, ILB (knee)
Robert Mathis, OLB (Achilles)
Sheldon Price, CB (concussion)
D'Joun Smith, CB (knee)
A few notes:
- It's sounding more and more like both Greg Toler and Vick Ballard will miss this Sunday's game against the Bills. Pagano today alluded to having three running backs ready for Sunday's game, essentially implying that Ballard won't be ready to go. After a third hamstring strain, it makes sense for the Colts to ensure that he is completely healthy while giving guys like Josh Robinson and Tyler Varga chances as the backup running backs. As for Toler, that's a much bigger loss for the Colts, and the fact that he hasn't practiced for several weeks and is still "week to week" with his neck injury would seem to strongly suggest he won't play either. But, of course, we'll have to wait until later this week to find out for sure.
- Three of the six cornerbacks on the Colts' roster appeared on today's injury report as having either missed practice or been limited. Of course, Toler is a starter and was out today, and then backups D'Joun Smith and Sheldon Price were both limited. Price has cleared the concussion protocol but has not yet been cleared for contact. If Toler is out on Sunday, it will likely be Smith as the number three cornerback, though Price and Jalil Brown might see time as well - that is, as long as all of those guys can play.
- Robert Mathis and Nate Irving are both on limited snaps in practice, which could indicate that they will play on Sunday in limited roles. If the Colts are already monitoring their snap counts, it would be easy to see how that could translate to Sunday's game with a snap count. But, of course, we'll wait and see how the rest of the week goes and we'll find out more on Friday.