Indianapolis Colts wideout Michael Pittman Jr. has cleared the concussion protocol and remains ‘on track’ to play this Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders:
Colts’ WR Michael Pittman Jr. cleared concussion protocol and is on track to play Sunday vs. the Raiders.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2023
Pittman Jr. has been a full participant in team practice on consecutive days, both Thursday and Friday respectively. It’s worth noting that he’s still listed as ‘questionable’ with his injury designation, but head coach Shane Steichen already indicated he’ll be available to play.
After suffering a vicious hit two weeks ago versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittman Jr. was surprisingly able to initially clear the league’s concussion protocol last week. However, after traveling with his teammates to Atlanta, Pittman Jr. began suffering from a re-occurrence of concussion symptoms last Saturday and subsequently returned to said protocol:
#Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. says his wife was the one last week who told him he wasn’t acting like himself, which made him reflect even more on his behavior and self report his concussion symptoms.— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) December 29, 2023
After being absent during last weekend’s loss against the Atlanta Falcons, his return should be a big addition to a Colts offense that simply struggled to do much without him.
Tight end Kylen Granson led the Indy offense last week with 5 receptions for 62 receiving yards, and no Colts wideout had more than 39 receiving yards on the afternoon—which was what rookie Josh Downs accumulated.
Pittman Jr. leads the Colts in receptions (99, which is still 6th most in the NFL this season), receiving yards (1,062), and touchdown receptions (4) during 14 games (13 starts).
As another encouraging injury update, starting right tackle Braden Smith also ‘looks good’ per Steichen—after being a full participant in team practice all week, although his head coach was non-committal on whether he’d play. However, all signs point to Smith starting again, especially given how much the Colts have struggled at right tackle in his absence:
This is not a declarative statement about their statuses for Sunday, but WR Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion) and RT Braden Smith (knee) were very active in today’s practice. Smith looked like a guy ready to play IMO.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) December 28, 2023
One key name to watch on the Colts injury report is standout slot cornerback Kenny Moore II, who sat out Friday’s practice with a back injury—and is officially listed as ‘questionable.’
Having their top players (hopefully) available will be a significant boost to a Colts squad that is clinging onto the AFC’s final wild card playoff spot—which major postseason implications in play once again Sunday.