Jonathan Taylor missed Sundays game on the COVID-19 list. He would have likely had some role to play if not for being a close contact concern coming into the game.
Michael Pittman Jr. has been getting a lot of attention since he returned from a calf injury. His last two weeks have given fans and analysts reasons to believe that he could take over as the new legitimate number one receiver in Indianapolis. He was again heavily targeted, earning the second highest targets on the team with nine but he had at least two bad drops and managed to haul in only two receptions for 28 yards.
On the other hand, Pittman Jr. led Colts receivers with 64 of 74 offensive snaps, good for 86% of the opportunities. As has been discussed throughout this season, a primary reason for this is his strength as a blocker.
DeMichael Harris was again active but with running back Nyheim Hines getting so much work on offense, he was limited to 11 snaps. He caught his only target but gained only a yard on the play.
While Danny Pinter has played in a handful of snaps in certain packages all season, Ryan Kelly’s neck injury resulted in his first NFL start. He played every snap and had a relatively strong performance under the circumstances. He was certainly stronger than Le’Raven Clark at left tackle and has the tools to improve.
As per usual, Julian Blackmon was on the field for every defensive snap. It was an uncharacteristically quiet game for Blackmon who finished the game with two tackles, including only one solo. The disruptive playmaker was partially taken out of the game by a run heavy offensive game plan and with a passing game that focused on the short areas of the field.
Defensive tackles Rob Windsor and Kameron Cline saw time again with DeForest Buckner sitting out with a COVID-19 designation. Windsor took seven defensive snaps to Cline’s 12. They each tallied a tackle. Windsor was also called for a neutral zone infraction, jumping on Tannehill’s hard count in the second quarter. This penalty came on the back of a pass interference penalty on Rock Ya-Sin. If the rookie wants to earn more opportunities, he’ll need to clean that up.
With Isaiah Rodgers inactive, still recovering from a nagging knee injury, the primary rookie special teams contribution came at the foot of Rodgrigo Blankenship, who hit both of his extra point attempts.
On a day that was quiet from most of the Colts roster, the rookies followed suit. The best performance by a rookie on the day was Danny Pinter at center. It’s no wonder the Colts lost so badly.