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INDIANAPOLIS – On a week where the injury report is somewhat cleaning up, doubt is still there on the Colts’ most reliable player.

 

Adam Vinatieri returned to practice on Thursday, after a nagging groin injury kept him from participating on Wednesday.

 

How Vinny responds kick-to-kick on Friday, following a day of practice, will be the determining factor in his readiness for Sunday. For a look at possible backup kicker options, if Vinny can’t go, check out this story on Rigoberto Sanchez and others.

 

“I’m doing all right,” Vinatieri said on Thursday, before the team hit the practice field. “We’ve been in the training room a ton just doing everything we can to get back on the field as quickly as possible. We are going to go test it (Thursday) and see how it is.”

 

What were the other takeaways from Thursday’s injury report?

 

  • Thursday was a second straight limited practice for Jack Doyle (hip). One would think for Doyle to play on Sunday, he has to be full on Friday. Even if he is that, it’s still no guarantee that the Colts put him back on the field after missing more than a month. But no Erik Swoope for a second staright day could mean the Colts think Doyle will play this Sunday.
     
  • So, Marlon Mack went from practicing limited on Wednesday, to not practicing on Thursday. That’s unusual. The ankle is the issue for Mack, a new ailment after he dealt with the hamstring injury for the first part of the 2018 season. Did Mack suffer an ankle injury on Wednesday that could bring Sunday’s status into jeopardy or this just a precaution thing with still one more practice to go this week?
     
  • The following Colts have missed the first two days of practice this week: WR-Ryan Grant (ankle), S-Malik Hooker (hip), TE-Erik Swoope (knee) and RB-Robert Turbin (shoulder). Let’s take a closer look each of those individuals.
     
  • That’s now two straight days with no Malik Hooker (hip) at practice. The team’s leader in defensive snaps this season has missed practice days before in 2018, and still gone on to play that weekend. So as long as he gets back to practice Friday, then he should be good to for Sunday. Hooker did meet with media on Thursday, which is typically a good sign for that player suiting it up.
     
  • Grant is now on track to miss two straight weeks after injuring his ankle late in the loss to the Jets in Week Six. Without Grant against Buffalo, the Colts used these 4 wide receivers: Dontrelle Inman (42-of-66 snaps), Zach Pascal (41-of-66 snaps), Chester Rogers (36-of-66 snaps) and T.Y. Hilton (35-of-66 snaps, in his return from a hamstring injury). These are the 5 receivers currently on the 53-man roster.
     
  • Swoope injured his left knee on a 17-yard touchdown catch against the Bills. He stayed in for the ensuing extra point before leaving for the rest of the game. Now, the Colts will have to figure out how to handle the tight end position this week. The definite healthy guys are Eric Ebron, Ryan Hewitt and Mo Alie-Cox. They also have Jack Doyle, who has returned to practice this week.
     
  • Turbin hurt his shoulder two weeks ago against the Jets and hasn’t practiced since. Without Turbin this past Sunday, the Colts used their other three backs: Marlon Mack (37-of-66 snaps), Nyheim Hines (17-of-66) and Jordan Wilkins (15-of-66).
     
  • We’ve now seen Denico Autry practice on back-to-back days after he injured his ankle three weeks ago. While ankle and hamstring injuries have limited Autry’s time on the field this season, the versatile defensive lineman has been effective when healthy.
     
  • So Clayton Geathers went from FULL on Wednesday to a DNP on Thursday. The safety has passed the concussion protocol. This isn’t too alarming to see Geathers miss a Thursday though. He’s done that several times this year. But if Hooker’s status is in question for Sunday, then the Colts really need Geathers to be ready.
     

THURSDAY’S INJURY REPORT

 

DNP: WR-Ryan Grant (ankle), S-Clayton Geathers (neck), S-Malik Hooker (hip), RB-Marlon Mack (ankle), TE-Erik Swoope (knee), DE-Jabaal Sheard (abdomen), RB-Robert Turbin (shoulder), DL-Jihad Ward (ankle)

 

            –Bowen’s Analysis: Ward is expected to go on injured reserve at some point. Sheard is a new addition for the first time during the 2018 season.

 

LIMITED: TE-Jack Doyle (hip), K-Adam Vinatieri (groin)

 

            –Bowen’s Analysis: It was a second straight day of limited practice for Doyle.

 

FULL: DL-Denico Autry (hamstring), WR-Dontrelle Inman (neck), CB-Arthur Maulet (hip)

 

            –Bowen’s Analysis: Autry has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury.