The Indianapolis Colts released their list of inactive players ahead of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Among those inactive include safety Julian Blackmon, quarterback Sam Ehlinger, cornerback Dallis Flowers, center Wesley French, wide receiver Dezmon Patmon, tackle Luke Tenuta and defensive tackle Chris Williams.
Blackmon had been dealing with an ankle injury and will miss his first game of the season. Rookie Rodney Thomas took over when Blackmon went out in Week 3 vs. Kansas City, so Thomas could very well start alongside Rodney McLeod.
It’ll be interesting to see if defensive coordinator Gus Bradley goes with Thomas or their other rookie safety, Nick Cross, who’s played meaningful snaps for the defense through the first few games.
All-Pro linebacker Shaq Leonard will make his season Sunday debut and is active against the Titans. Having Leonard back in the starting lineup is massive for Indianapolis’ defense, especially when facing running back Derrick Henry.
Although Leonard is active, he will be on a pitch count, according to Colts reporter Larra Overton.
Reich says there is a pitch count and the plan has been set by Gus Bradley, Richard Smith and Shaq but there will be ongoing conversation in-game for any adjustments to his workload.— Larra Overton (@LarraOverton) October 2, 2022
Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who was listed as questionable with an elbow injury, is also active and will start as well. Buckner’s presence will be just as important as Leonard’s, especially in passing situations for the Titans.
The Colts are trying to earn their second straight victory and improve to 2-1-1 on the season, and having multiple key defensive pieces back in the starting lineup could help the team accomplish their goal.