According to his head coach Shane Steichen, the Indianapolis Colts appear ‘optimistic’ that former Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore II (back) will be available in a ‘do-or-die’ divisional finale against the Houston Texans on Saturday (via FOX59/CBS4’s Mike Chappell):
Kenny Moore II (back) was game-time decision vs Raiders. Couldn’t go after pregame work. Shane Steichen seemed optimistic he’ll be available vs Texans.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) January 1, 2024
Moore II was truly a ‘game-time decision’ before Week 17’s win against the Las Vegas Raiders, but after undergoing pre-game work, both sides erred on the side of caution—and the standout slot cornerback was held out a week.
While third-string slot cornerback Chris Lammons performed admirably in relief (playing 60 total defensive snaps in Nickel), Moore II remains one of the best slot corners in the business and is playing at a very high level once again for Indianapolis this season.
Texans’ NFL Rookie of the Year frontrunner C.J. Stroud is the first, first-team quarterback that the Colts defense will have faced in over a month, as he features special anticipation, accuracy, and timing for a young quarterback well beyond his years.
The Colts secondary will obviously want its best cornerback back, Moore II, who’s a veteran leader at that, to pose a stronger defensive matchup against Stroud. That’s not a shot at Lammons, who held his own on Sunday, but Stroud is a clear upgrade to the Raiders’ Aidan O’Connell at starting quarterback right now. He poses a much more challenging matchup.
With the Colts optimistic that Moore II will return this weekend, he’d be a big boost to the Colts secondary in a ‘must-win,’ early playoff game against Stroud and the Texans.