The Colts’ injury report is pretty ugly. The list of valuable players on it has seemed to balloon out of control as the season has progressed. There is some good news this week though. It seems as though some players will be headed back to the field and will be set to make an impact on Sunday.
Darius Leonard is a major part of the Colts new-look defense, and he was nowhere to be seen yesterday. Today however, he was practicing in a limited capacity and said he expects to be out there on Sunday. That would be a huge lift for the Colts’ defense.
Also getting back to full practice after being held out or limited were Nate Hairston, Anthony Walker, and Malik Hooker. Getting those guys back in action is a big deal for the defense and will bode well for the unit as a whole.
Anthony Castonzo, Marlon Mack, Kenny Moore, Hassan Ridgeway, and Quincy Wilson have now put together back-to-back practices where they fully participated. That means this list is likely to be cut nearly in half by game day. In particular, getting Castonzo and Mack back and healthy will be hugely impactful for an offense that has struggled to get any kind of running game started. We haven’t gotten to see Castonzo paired with Quenton Nelson, and it looks like this is the week where that happens.
In a bit of a surprise, we saw the Clayton Geathers return to limited practice today as well, which is great news. A concussion and neck injury caused him to leave the game last Thursday and called into question whether he would be able to return or if he was destined to hit IR. While his participation in a limited capacity doesn’t mean he is likely to play, it is definitely a more positive sign than had he continued to be out entirely.
Speaking of guys who are out entirely, there are still some pretty important ones. T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle are both likely to miss Sunday and are considered week to week. Additionally, Eric Ebron’s leg has apparently gone on strike and left him in the lurch, based on the Colts’ description of his “shin/quad/ankle/knee” injury. He has not practiced this week and that certainly isn’t good. It appears that this season Andrew Luck will not be allowed to have nice things.
Ryan Kelly has also missed all this week with a calf injury, and that is trouble. His likely replacement would be Evan Boem, who the Colts signed off the Rams’ practice squad this week after sending Matt Slauson to IR.
Matthias Farley, Denico Autry, and Margus Hunt are also on the list of guys who didn’t practice either yesterday or today. I guess if we’re trying to be positive, this is not nearly as bad a list as we were dealing with on Thursday night against the Patriots.
What remains to be seen is how the Colts offense will perform without its top three weapons and with an offensive line that has gotten back its starting tackles but looks as though it will be down 2 of its interior linemen.