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Colts rule five key players out for Sunday’s game vs. Texans

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the Colts host the Texans on Sunday in a massive AFC South matchup, they will be without several significant players. Head coach Chuck Pagano announced today that safety Clayton Geathers (neck), right guard Denzelle Good, defensive lineman Zach Kerr (concussion), outside linebacker Robert Mathis (bicep), and cornerback Patrick Robinson (groin) will all miss Sunday's game.

That's a lengthy list of players and it means that the Colts already know five of their seven inactives for Sunday's game, and it includes four starters and a key rotational guy. Furthermore, Pagano said that outside linebacker Curt Maggitt is still going through the concussion protocol, though he's not ruled out yet. So there's still a chance he'll be able to play, but he needs to still clear the protocol to be able to do so.

Geathers, Mathis, and Robinson will miss their second straight game with their injuries. Geathers will actually now have missed three in a row, as he missed the team's Thanksgiving game with a concussion and then missed last Monday's game with a neck injury. That neck injury has lingered, and Geathers was listed as week-to-week by Pagano earlier this week. Mathis will miss his second straight game with a bicep injury, as though he seemed optimistic about returning to practice this week he in fact didn't participate in any of the practices. Pagano said that Mathis is close but just not there yet, so it wouldn't make sense to push him back. And then Robinson suffered a setback this week, Pagano confirmed. Robinson was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but he's out after suffering a setback. Then with Good and Kerr, they both suffered concussions in last week's win and understandably weren't able to get through the protocol on a short week.

The Colts will be stretched thin defensively on Sunday, as they'll be without a starting safety (Geathers), a starting cornerback (Robinson), a starting outside linebacker (Mathis), a starting inside linebacker (D'Qwell Jackson), and a key rotational defensive lineman (Kerr). So that's not good, and the Colts will be tasked with trying to fill in for all of those guys. It'll likely be T.J. Green starting at safety for Geathers and Rashaan Melvin starting at the outside corner spot for Robinson, while Antonio Morrison will fill in for Jackson and Trent Cole will be the guy in place of Mathis.

The offense is pretty healthy, aside for the injury to Denzelle Good. But even that isn't a crushing injury, as the Colts can now slide Joe Haeg to right guard and insert Joe Reitz at right tackle and not have much (if any!) drop off.