At this point the Colts injury situation is becoming a bad joke. The offense is without two of its biggest and most reliable pass catchers. The offensive line is without its three of its best tackles. The defense has suffered a concussion to a starting linebacker, a neck injury to a starting safety, injuries to two of their starting defensive linemen, to go along with defensive rookie of the month Darius Leonard not dressing for the game. Oh yeah, two of the teams top corners, Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson are also unable to play.
Going on the road to face a team who regularly visits the Super Bowl under those circumstances is asking a lot. This is a huge test for Chris Ballard’s depth.
An updated on Clayton Geathers isn’t entirely encouraging either:
Clayton Geathers cleared concussion protocol; questionable to return with a neck. Remember, he faced a career-threatening neck injury earlier in his career.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 5, 2018
At this point, the Patriots offense has been able to move the ball at will. The Colts offense has fits and starts but hasn’t been able to punch the ball into the end zone. It should go without saying that field goals aren’t going to get it done.
The Colts trail at the half 3 - 24.
Big Games from Small Names
At this point the smallest player to make an impact in the game is rookie running back Nyheim Hines. Zaire Franklin is also picking up a lot of tackles but we’re not seeing game-changing plays or effort from anyone at this point.
This isn’t happening. Margus Hunt is dealing with a knee injury. Darius Leonard didn’t dress. Denico Autry walked off of the field with an injury as well. It may be up to Jabaal Sheard and Kemoko Turay, along with some magic from Matt Eberflus to get something going.
The problem is that injuries and the score will make running the ball even easier for the Patriots. It will take the offense to score to force Brady and the Patriots into passing situations or pressuring Brady will become really difficult.
Andrew Luck and the offensive were running their two minute offense and working their way into field position for at least a chance at a field goal for Adam Vinatieri. Instead, pressure comes into Luck’s face and he seemingly panics and unload a throw in Nyheim Hines’ direction with no clue that Patrick Chung was covering Hines out of the backfield.
Limit Rob Gronkowski
At this point limiting Gronkowski isn’t much of a concern. He hasn’t had a major impact on the game but he hasn’t needed to.
There has been an attempt to keep some offensive balance using Nyheim Hines and a dash of Jordan Wilkins but there is no doubt that balance isn’t going to happen today. Luck will need to continue throwing the ball at a unsustainable rate.