While I’m not sure that what we learned today provides enough good to outweigh the bad, here is something new for you to chew on.
As we already reported on Sunday, Andrew Luck will not be practicing this week and will focus on rehab. Also, while Chuck Pagano could not offer a specific timeline at this point, he did say that John Simon will miss some time with a stinger in his shoulder. As vague as that might be, you can pretty much write him off for playing against the Bengals this weekend.
As expected, Rashaan Melvin will start this week in the concussion protocol. While Colts fans are all desperate for him to return, head injuries must be taken seriously and we can only hope that his concussion does not include severe symptoms.
Of course, it has already been reported the rookie first round safety Malik Hooker will be placed on injured reserve and will require surgery for tears to his ACL and MCL. This will require months of healing and rehabilitation before he can hope to take the field again next year.
So yeah, bad taste not getting much better. But, there are some positive developments as well.
The upside of the injury update is that Ryan Kelly’s hamstring injury is not terribly serious. Barring any setbacks, he will participate in a limited basis at Wednesday’s practice in route to returning to the starting role against Cincinnati. Two other highly important pieces will be returning to practice for the first time this week as Denzelle Good and Clayton Geathers will be returning on a “limited, limited” basis. As with the Simon news above, it would be wise to take this as very unlikely that either will play this weekend.
The timeline on Geathers, though, is still going to be a lengthy one. Asked about the timeline today, Pagano said:
He’ll be in a red jersey, no contact this week. Then the following week it’ll get amped up a little bit more, and then I believe it’s Pittsburgh week – maybe a little bit more. And then we head into the bye week, and then hopefully by that time he’s made enough progress to where – I think that’s the point where, if you’re going to put him on the 53 (man roster), you put him on the 53. That’s what we’re hopeful for.
Again, we’re talking about after the bye for him to be on the active roster and potentially taking live reps in a game. Still, it’s better to have something positive in the back pocket as the team moves forward.
As for the decision to have Quincy Wilson inactive for a second straight week, and wishing to have that decision back when Rashaan Melvin went down, Pagano said:
Yeah, with (John) Simon coming out of that game two weeks ago and missing some time, it was a tough call. Do you have Quincy up, have Bash (Tarell Basham) up? It’s hard. When you’ve got a bunch of injuries and a bunch of scratches that you don’t want to have and then you get healthy, you’re going to have some guys that are really good players. And he played well. When he was in, he played well against Arizona. It was a tough call. Man, I wish I had a crystal ball that would have told Melvin is going to go down on the first series or whatever it was and be out. I don’t. You said well Simon is beat up and he goes out. Thank God, we had Basham. We’re going to get that kid up and he’s going to get another opportunity.
No offense to Chuck. I have no doubt that some decisions are harder to make than other ones. Simon went down and the team needed to have Basham ready to go — so that worked out. Hooker went down, and while it might make fans groan, having T.J. Green ready to take some snaps was important — so having him active worked out.
Where I don’t see any excuse is Chris Milton. I wish I had the chance to ask that question directly.
“Coach, I can only imagine how difficult those decisions must be but can you explain the decision to go with Milton over Wilson?”
Nothing against Chris Milton. He’s a depth corner in the NFL and has shown some signs of promise from time-to-time over the summer and training camp. But Quincy Wilson is a second round rookie who Pagano admits played well against Arizona. How can you have your third best, rookie, outside corner inactive while a bottom of the depth chart defensive back who will likely not even be on your team in 2018 is pressed onto the field to play significant reps?
The answer is: you can’t. There is no legitimate defense or excuse for it.