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Indianapolis Colts Rookie Report: Week 9 Colts vs Steelers

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE

ROOKIES

Indianapolis Colts wide receivers have been dropping like flies in 2019. Second-year receiver Daurice Fountain suffered a season-ending injury in training camp, free agent pickup Devin Funchess was placed on injured reserve after fracturing his collarbone in the season opener, Parris Campbell has missed time with an abdominal strain, and T.Y. Hilton is going to miss weeks with a calf injury.

The good news is that Campbell saw some of his most extensive work on Sunday, seeing the field for 44 of 71 offensive snaps. He caught all 5 passes thrown his way for 53 yards, including a 27 yard screen pass. He also added 2 kick returns for 64 yards and a long of 38. He missed out on a would-be touchdown by getting his toes caught up in the dirt of Heinz field.

Sadly, he fractured his hand in the game, left early and will miss additional time in his injury-riddled rookie season. On thing is certain, he has world class speed and it isn’t difficult to figure out why Frank Reich was so excited about drafting him.

Ashton Dulin did not take an offensive snap on Sunday but made his presence felt again on special teams. He downed a Rigoberto Sanchez punt on the Steelers one-yard line and helped to setup an eventual safety.

SECOND YEAR

Nyheim Hines continues to see the most reps behind starter Marlon Mack but was not particularly involved in the offense. He rushed one time for 6 yards and caught one of his three targets for 21 yards. Give the situation at wide receiver heading into the game on Sunday, it’s surprising that Hines didn’t see the field more often as a wideout.

After Campbell’s injury, perhaps the Colts will have no choice.

Jordan Wilkins may be the most underutilized offensive weapon on the Colts roster. In his very limited opportunities, Wilkins has looked promising. On Sunday, he received only 14 of 71 offensive snaps and carried the ball once for 6 yards and caught 1 pass on 2 targets for another 6 yards.

With all of the injuries to wide receiver, Deon Cain has been given a lot of opportunity. Unfortunately, he has made very little impact this season. On Sunday, Cain saw the field for 21 of 71 offensive snaps, received two targets and didn’t register a catch. He dropped a ball that hit him in the hands and didn’t get targeted for a touchdown on the Colts offensive drive — though he was open.

Often overlooked in our weekly “rookie” report, Zach Pascal is in his second NFL season and took 67 of 71 offensive snaps. With Hilton out, Pascal is unquestionably the team’s top receiver and has made the most of his opportunities. He is one of my favorite players on the team as he is good at a lot of things. He can return kicks and punts, has displayed good hands and the ability to get open, is a special teams coverage unit standout, and is the best blocking receiver on the team.

On Sunday, Pascal led the team with 5 receptions on six targets and added 76 yards and a touchdown. Look for him to continue his production as the primary receiver against the Dolphins.

Second-year tight end Mo Alie-Cox saw the field for 21 of 71 offensive snaps. He caught the only pass thrown his way for 11 yards.


DEFENSE

Rock Ya-Sin continues to get a long look from Matt Eberflus and Chris Ballard. He took 62 of 63 defensive snaps and made 2 tackles. He went unnoticed for much of the game, a good thing after last week, and was beaten only once over the middle.

Linebacker Bobby Okereke took 26 of 63 defensive snaps and tallied 4 defensive tackles and 1 special teams tackle. Sadly, the officials erroneously penalized Okereke on his special teams tackle.

Safety Khari Willis took 37 of 63 defensive snaps and made one defensive tackle. Like Ya-Sin, Willis did not generate a lot of attention on Sunday.

Corner Marvell Tell continues to get more opportunities, as Quincy Wilson has found his way back into the dog house. He took 37 of 63 defensive snaps, made 4 tackles, defended a pass, and forced a fumble. Tell has quickly burst onto the scene and shown improvement. He is earning the trust of the coaching staff and should be monitored closely moving forward.

Defensive end Ben Banogu took 33 of 63 defensive snaps and gathered 1 quarterback hit. This state line doesn’t do him any justice, though. He has continued to show development after Kemoko Turay went down for the season. He’s another exciting young prospect who could be on the verge of a breakout game.

With Quincy Wilson a healthy scratch and Pierre Desir held out, presumably for an injury, Marvell Tell saw his first extended action of the season. He took 37 of 73 defensive snaps and gathered 3 tackles. It would take a review of the All-22 film to get an appropriate read of how he did in coverage but suffice to say that he wasn’t noticed much on Sunday, Ya-Sin was.

Linebacker E.J. Speed was relegated to special teams work on Sunday but did not register a stat.