Indy has a potentially tough contest ahead of them as they take on the 3-1 Browns who have had a rollercoaster of a season. Cleveland opened the season against the Ravens and only put 6 points on the scoreboard in their only loss on the year. Last week they scored 49 points on the Cowboys. The question is, which Browns team will we see on Sunday?
Here are the Colts players that, in my mind, need to show up big for the Colts to record their fourth consecutive victory of the season.
Bobby Okereke (LB)
This is kind of an obvious pick for a defensive player this week. Darius Leonard is out and not only is he the best linebacker on the team, he’s the most dynamic and versatile player on the defensive side of the ball for the Colts.
Okereke will now be one of the two linebackers on the field, the other one likely being Anthony Walker who was listed as ‘questionable’ on Friday with an injury of his own.
Last week Okereke performed very well after Leonard was sidelined. He took his bigger role very seriously and recorded eight total tackles, six solo, and one tackle for loss. He finished with the second most tackles in that game for the Colts behind Walker with 11.
Cleveland has been a strong running team so far this year, but their lead back, Nick Chubb, will be out with an injury. However, Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson are two solid options to pick up ground yards for the Browns.
We’ll see how Okereke can handle this Browns offense that on paper has a long list of strong offensive weapons.
Le’Raven Clark (LT)
Keeping with the trend of impactful injuries, Anthony Castonzo is out for this game as well. What does that mean for the Colts? Potentially big trouble.
Castonzo has been a signature on the team’s offensive line for years now, and he would have been especially useful in this game against Myles Garrett and the Browns.
Taking his spot will be Le’Raven Clark who has to perform well if the Colts plan to put points on the board. Between protecting the quarterback and creating open holes for a rush, Clark will have a big task on his hands. The left side of the Colts offensive line has been a strong suit in recent seasons and Reich likes to favor that side when utilizing the rushing attack.
Clark will also likely have to deal with Browns’ defensive end, Myles Garrett who is an absolute beast for the Cleveland defense. Clark needs to hold as strong as possible for 60 minutes of regulation football. He is not Castonzo, and it would be unfair to compare them. He is, however, a former third round pick and a fifth year veteran in the league.
The Colts struggled on offense last week. The loss of Castonzo will not make it any easier to perform better. Clark has some big shoes to fill.