The Colts released their Thursday injury report today, and it is loaded with important details worth a closer look.
First things first, Darius Leonard. Leonard is in his second day not practicing due to being in the league’s concussion protocol. This isn’t a T.Y. Hilton/ankle kind of situation. There is no playing through a concussion, and the steps to get back on track require him to be engaged in practice activities before being cleared. That means that his chances of playing on Sunday are growing slim. His loss would obviously be a big blow to the defense, but could be a chance to see some combination of E.J. Speed and Bobby Okereke filling in. We might be about to find out how good Chris Ballard is at identifying linebacker talent.
Another worrisome name on this list is Marlon Mack. He has missed two days now with a calf issue, although according to Zak Keefer he was working on a side field.
Mack is working on a side field.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 19, 2019
That leaves some hope that Mack could be good to go Sunday, although playing injured is not ideal for a guy who might be a major mismatch against this Falcons defense.
In terms of other guys who were a concern, Pierre Desir and T.Y. Hilton both were limited in practice. That is actually great news for Desir, who just might be able to go Sunday, when they’ll desperately need him as they face a stellar wide receiver group. As far as T.Y., if he is conscious, I generally believe he’ll play.
Back to full practice were RB Jonathan Williams, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, and DE Kemoko Turay. Turay being back will be critical, and he could be looking at a big day against an offensive line that has struggled. Williams also would be a welcome addition to the backfield, especially if Mack is playing at less than 100%.
Finally, Jabaal Sheard has now been back to practice in a limited capacity twice this week, giving some hope that we might get to see him in action next week. The Colts run defense could certainly use him back, and it is encouraging to see him continuing to progress toward taking the field.