The Indianapolis Colts released their list of inactive players ahead of their Week 14 matchup against the Cincinatti Bengals. Among those inactive include center Jack Anderson, cornerback JuJu Brents, defensive tackle Eric Johnson II, defensive end Isaiah Land, tackle Braden Smith, linebacker E.J. Speed and running back Jonathan Taylor.
Cornerback JuJu Brents, who was originally listed as questionable, is still dealing with a quad injury and will miss his sixth straight game, so the Colts will again turn to their other young cornerbacks when facing one of the NFL’s better wide receiving corps Sunday.
Defensive tackle Grover Stewart returns from his six-game PED suspension, which is why Eric Johnson II was listed as inactive. Bengals’ running back Joe Mixon had his best performance of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night, so getting Stewart back is massive for Indy’s run defense.
Linebacker E.J. Speed is also inactive, so it’s possible the Colts will turn to linebacker Ronnie Harrison to take Speed’s place next to Zaire Franklin. If Harrison gets the nod, he’d be making his 46th career start.
No announcement yet from the #Colts. But, with E.J. Speed out, look for Ronnie Harrison to get his 46th career start and first with Indianapolis.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) December 10, 2023
With tackle Braden Smith also inactive, rookie Blake Freeland will once again take Smith’s place. Although Freeland has fared well when stepping in for Smith this season, Cincinatti may look to take advantage of Indy’s rookie tackle.
Running back Jonathan Taylor remains out with his thumb injury, meaning Zack Moss will again start in Taylor’s place. The Bengals have struggled heavily to stop opposing running backs this season, so perhaps the Colts will turn to Moss early and often.
The Colts, who are 7-5, are on a four-game winning streak and will be looking to keep that going as they push for the playoffs. Cincinatti, meanwhile, is 6-6 and still very much in the thick of the playoff race, even with backup quarterback Jake Browning at the helm. They’ll also be looking to stay alive in a crowded AFC wild card playoff picture.