As the Colts approach this Sunday’s regular season finale against the Jaguars, they’ve ruled only one player out in advance. Head coach Chuck Pagano said today that cornerback Darius Butler is out with a concussion.
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief (shoulder) is doubtful, while cornerback Rashaan Melvin (knee) and outside linebacker Chris Carter (shoulder) are questionable. Carter missed last week’s game, but he returned to practice this week and was a participant each day, being limited on Wednesday and Thursday and then a full participant today. Melvin missed Wednesday and Thursday but was limited today, while Moncrief didn’t practice at all this week.
It’s no surprise that Butler isn’t able to go, as he suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to the Raiders and hasn’t practiced since. He has to pass through all of the phases of the concussion protocol before returning to play, and that hasn’t happened yet. Butler has had a good season, proving to be a good slot cornerback and a reliable safety as the Colts have utilized his versatility, but he’s also set to become a free agent. So there’s a chance we’ve already seen the last of him in a Colts uniform, though it’s certainly a reasonable possibility that they would bring him back after his impressive season.
This Sunday, it means that the Colts will be down a key member of their secondary, as they’ll be without their slot corner and will be without a depth safety. That means that we should see T.J. Green get a ton of playing time alongside Mike Adams, and it means that we should see more of Darryl Morris at cornerback too - both of which might not be bad things. Since the Colts are already out of the playoff hunt, getting a chance to give Green and Morris more reps will give the Colts a better view of what they’re able to do, which could help their assessment of the team heading into the offseason. You never want to be without guys due to injury, but in this case there might be a bit of a silver lining beneath it.