Brents will miss his fourth game in a row after injuring his quad back in week seven against the Cleveland Browns. After returning to practice this week there was some hope he would be able to play against a talented group of Bengals receivers. As it stands, Colts fans will have to wait until at least next week when the team hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers, to see the promising rookie back on the field. This week Colts fans can expect to see more Jaylon Jones and Darrell Baker Jr., both of whom have been playing well as of late.
E.J. Speed will miss his first game of the season after appearing on the injury report mid-week with a knee injury. He was a limited participant on Friday so there was some hope that he would be able to play on Sunday but like Brents, the decision was made to hold Speed out. In his place you should expect to see Segun Olubi and Ronnie Harrison on the field. Both Olubi and Harrison have had an impact on the field in limited roles and Harrison (a converted safety) intercepting a pass in his first game as a Colt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Colts are now down four starters in Jonathan Taylor, Braden Smith, E.J. Speed and Juju Brents. While it’s important that we not underestimate how much these losses will impact the team, the Colts are in position to handle these specific losses as well as possible. Zack Moss has been very good in place of Jonathan Taylor this season. Blake Freeland, while nowhere near the player Braden Smith is, is gaining valuable experience as an athletic rookie and can be planned around as he has been several times this season. Juju Brents has missed more time than he’s played, which is unfortunate but it has allowed other cornerbacks to gain experience and the defensive backfield has improved in his absence. The biggest loss might be felt with E.J. Speed’s injury but even then the Colts can do things schematically and personnel wise to switch things up and hopefully minimize his loss.
Hopefully these players take the week off and come back for the last four games of the season, to finish things off and make a push for the postseason.