On Friday, the Indianapolis Colts ruled out three starters for this Sunday’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals — quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) being the obvious one, and defensive starters John Simon (neck stinger) and Rashaan Melvin (concussion) being the more disappointing, yet also expected others.
With Simon out, Barkevious Mingo will step up into his place at strong-side outside linebacker. Rookie Tarell Basham will also rotate in more often than he has recently.
At starting left cornerback with Melvin out, it’s hoped that rookie Quincy Wilson will be the one starting. However, he’s been a healthy scratch the last couple of weeks, and head coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino seem to have a serious axe to grind with him, much to the chagrin of everybody but the two of them. Other than Wilson, the pecking order likely follows with Pierre Desir, Chris Milton and Kenny Moore.
The Colts also have four players listed as questionable, and hopefully for the team’s sake, those players are leaning more toward probable.
Wide receiver Kamar Aiken (shoulder) wouldn’t be a big loss with the return of Chester Rogers. However, Aiken does play the majority of the Colts’ offensive snaps.
Starting center Ryan Kelly (knee/pelvis) would be the biggest loss this week. He missed the first four games of the season following foot surgery but has been back for the last three. If he misses the game, Mike Person would likely fill in like he did when Kelly went down last week.
With Malik Hooker (knee) being placed on season-ending Injured Reserve this week, Darius Butler (ankle) would’ve been the ideal choice to fill in. However, he, along with the man behind him, T.J. Green (hamstring) are both questionable. Matthias Farley will be the starting strong safety, but the Colts may need to call up Ronald Martin from the practice squad if Butler and/or Green are out.
Some good news comes in the form of rookie fifth-round pick, inside linebacker Anthony Walker, returning from his hamstring injury. He’s only played in parts of two games all year. The Colts’ starting inside linebackers, Antonio Morrison and Jon Bostic, are abysmal, so the hope if that Walker can stay healthy and look good on the field in the process.
Below is the Bengals’ official Week 8 injury report:
Friday, the Colts elevated outside linebacker Joshua Perry from the practice squad to the active roster. They waived tight end Henry Krieger-Coble to make room for Perry. With Simon out and the Colts only having Basham to backup Jabaal Sheard and Mingo, the Colts need an extra body at outside linebacker, and likely special teams. Perry is the fifth former Ohio State Buckeye on the Colts’ roster.