The Indianapolis Colts are continuing to take steps in the right direction on the injury report as they prepare for their prime time match up against the Seattle Seahawks. Vontae Davis, Kamar Aiken and Deyshawn Bond all were full participants in Thursday’s practice — indicating that all three should be good to go this weekend.
The return of Aiken from the concussion protocol is a bit of a surprise but it also is a big positive. It’s always good when players quickly become symptom free after head injuries.
Rookie running back Marlon Mack joined cornerback Chris Milton as limited participants today. Mack wore a red no-contact jersey as he still is recovering from a shoulder injury. His status on Friday likely will indicate whether or not he will return to the field in Seattle — full participation means he is likely to go while another day with a no-contact jersey might indicate that he will wait another week.
Veterans Frank Gore and Jack Mewhort got their typical rest day. Anthony Walker, Chester Rogers and Quincy Wilson all did not participate as well. It appears unlikely that any of them are likely to play this weekend and can only hope to get onto the field Friday for limited practice to put themselves in a better position to make a return next week.
While we’ve not been given a great deal of information on the specific injury to Quincy Wilson’s knee, Stephen Holder reported that he is attending practice so it is unlikely that it is something serious and it’s not enough to warrant any kind of surgery — which would require his absence.
As promised, quarterback Andrew Luck also did not practice.
Colts Official Injury Report
BONUS: Comments from today’s presser with the coordinators
Earlier this week the Colts brought up small school standout Krishawn Hogan to the active roster. Hogan is an Indianapolis local who played high school football for Warren Central and attended Marian University — also located in Indianapolis. This weekend, Hogan will be the first player in Marian’s history to ever suit up for a regular season NFL football game.
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski discussed the prospects of him having an immediate impact:
Can Krishawn Hogan have a role as early as Sunday or is that something that is still to be determined?
Yeah, I think still to be determined. I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen with him. He’s one of those guys, and they always happen and they already have this season, where there’s guys that come out of nowhere and end up helping you in some way. He’s a guy that was on the practice squad. In my experiences, when you see guys on the practice squad and every couple days you notice them making a play and saying, ‘Wow, that was a pretty good play.’ Those guys end up being guys that can help you and end up having chances to be players down the road. He was doing that.
While Kamar Aiken’s return to practice reduces the likelihood that Hogan will get an opportunity to take the field at wide receiver, a lot of Indy locals will be keeping an eye out to see if he can make an impact in some way.
Chudzinski was later asked about the play calling in the second half, in particular as it related to being aggressive and trying to run the football:
Did you have to balance working the clock as well as staying aggressive with the running game in the second half against Cleveland?
When you get to the fourth quarter, more so when you have a three-score lead, that’s where that balance comes into it. There are a lot of factors that go into that decision. How many weeks your quarterback has been here, how long he’s been here, how well he knows things and how well you know him. We have to run the ball better. It’s something that we’ve talked a lot about this week that we need to improve and get better at – particularly in those situations that are the ‘got to’ run situations.
It’s worth noting that Chudzinski referred to any “situation” as a “got to” run situation. It likely will add to the frustration that some have shown regarding turning conservative on both sides of the ball when you have a lead. On the one hand, if you can simply run the ball, get first downs and chew up clock — you do it. On the other, if you do not have the ability to do that, catching the defense by surprise and making a couple of plays to get first downs and extend drives might be the better strategy.
Either way, Chudzinski did suggest that part of their game plan for these situations is dependent upon how comfortable the team is with a new quarterback and how long he has had to work in the offensive system. So, there might be some hope that the longer Brissett starts for the Colts, the less the team will feel it is necessary to slam on the brakes.
On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Ted Monachino discussed how the Colts plan to address Russell Wilson’s play-making ability with his legs. Rather than simply have someone spy Wilson, he mentions discipline in running lanes. He also mentions that the team realizes they were abused by Kizer last week and used that experience to get better:
With trying to defend Wilson, is spying something you’ve seen a lot of teams use?
I don’t think that – I think it’s really important that we’re disciplined in our rush lanes. There will be times we’ll have an extra set of eyes on Russell (Wilson) based on the down and distance or the call, but we do that with every quarterback that we play. This one is a special player. He’s different. He presents a completely different set of circumstances and issues, and we’ve got some things in this week’s package to hopefully remedy some of that. We gave up 44 yards rushing to a quarterback (DeShone Kizer) a week ago. We turned up the volume on how we’ve got to take care of quarterbacks.
As we will discuss in our tale of the tape on the Colts run defense against the Browns, the biggest damage really was done by Kizer — particularly late in the game and when escaping on passing downs. The Colts will need to tighten things up as they head into a game against Russell Wilson because he’s even more dangerous when he escapes pressure.
Finally, Monachino had a pretty detailed discussion on T.J. Green’s role with the team, what position he is playing at this point, and what has led to his absence in the defense:
Where are you with T.J. Green at this point? Is he a safety or a cornerback?
He’s a safety. He’s a safety. I think the thing about T.J. is we’re still going to continue to force feed him the cornerback stuff, but corner takes time. If we’re going to make him a corner full time, it’s going to take some time. Right now he’s most comfortable at safety, and right now that’s where we need him based on the health of the group.
He also was asked about whether the reason the transition happened is simply because the Colts feel Green will be unable to make the transition to cornerback or for some other reason:
Was that a case of you guys deciding that the transition from safety to corner wasn’t going to work on the fly like that?
No, I think that with an extra week of preparation Pierre (Desir) and even Kenny (Moore II), some of the corners that were corners by trade, came in and played like corners. And at that point (Week 1), those guys were still new to us and we didn’t have a whole lot of background with those guys, and the guy that we felt the most comfortable with was T.J. (Green). And he had had a good enough week at practice that he had earned it.
These comments indicate that we’ve likely seen the last of Green at cornerback for the Colts in 2017, barring injuries and that he’ll be preparing to make an impact at the safety position. Unfortunate for him, at this point he’s deep on the depth chart behind Farley, Butler, and Hooker. When Geathers returns, he’ll be behind him as well.
It will be interesting to see how the team approaches Green if Geathers returns this season. Depending on injuries at other positions, they might even release him and try to bring him back to the practice squad.