INDIANAPOLIS – Looking for their first road win in nearly a year, the Colts will head to the Windy City in Week Four.
The Colts had their third and final practice of the week on Friday, with fall temperatures (and wind) in full effect.
What did we learn from the Colts on Friday?
- Frank Reich wasn’t tipping his hand Friday on whether TE-Trey Burton (calf) or DT-Sheldon Day (knee) will get called up to the active roster this week. Burton didn’t practice on Friday. Reich said Burton did ‘pretty well’ at Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice, but thought it was the right thing physically to have him sit out Friday’s session. Are two practices in the last month enough for Burton to feel like he can make his 2020 season debut this Sunday? Day practiced all three days, but I’m not expecting him to play. Remember, the Colts have a 21-day window to see Burton and Day practice, and decide if/when they want to call them back up to the active roster or leave them on IR. If the Colts do promote either Burton or Day this weekend, they will have to make a corresponding roster move.
- Remember, the Bears are still feeling the financial hit of releasing Trey Burton back in April. Burton has a dead cap hit of $4.84 million against the Bears this season, and another $1.75 million in 2021. Burton originally signed a 4-year $32 million deal with the Bears in 2018, following a breakout 2017 season with Frank Reich as the Eagles offensive coordinator.
- The return of Rock Ya-Sin this week means he’ll get back into game action after missing the last two weeks due to an illness. Expect Ya-Sin to slide into his normal outside corner role in the starting lineup.
- Having Ya-Sin back is huge because CB-T.J. Carrie injured his hamstring at Thursday’s practice and will miss his first game since 2015. Carrie had played in 87 straight games. With Carrie out, rookie Isaiah Rodgers is the 4th cornerback this week.
- It’s just 3 games, but Xavier Rhodes is having a much better season than he did last year. While Rhodes did have some issues in the season-opening loss to the Jaguars, he’s rebounded quite well. In 2019, Rhodes allowed quarterbacks to complete 81.5 percent of his passes, for a quarterback rating of 123.8. In 2020, Rhodes has allowed just a 44.4 percent completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 56.9.
- Sunday’s matchup involves two teams with a combined record of 5-1, but their opponents are just 2-17 (with one of those wins being the Jaguars over the Colts). It’s a little bit of a ‘prove-it’ matchup. Through three weeks, the Colts have played the NFL’s easiest schedule and the Bears have played the 5th easiest.
- Stats we didn’t see for the Colts last season: 23rd in rushing yards per play (3.85), yet 4th in passing yards per play (8.27). That’s a totally different story from the 2019 Colts. It’ll be interesting to see how these change, if they do, the rest of the season.
- It doesn’t matter the opponents, it’s still really impressive (and rare) to see the Colts have the following league rankings in so many defensive categories: 1st in yards per play (4.39), 1st in passing yards per play (5.28), 2nd in points (13), 3rd in sacks per pass attempt (12%), 3rd on 3rd down (32%).
- We have seen a decrease in T.Y. Hilton’s snap counts this season. After being a routine 80-90 percent offensive snap count guy throughout his career, Hilton has played more than 70 percent of snaps in just 1 of his last 7 games. Will the Colts have to get Hilton back into the 90 percent range with the injuries to Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman?
- The Colts continue to have an uptick in the attendance inside of Lucas Oil Stadium. Late on Thursday, Jim Irsay announced that the Colts will be allowed to hold up to 12,500 fans for their next home game (October 18th vs. the Bengals). After 2,500 fans for the Vikings game and 7,500 for the Jets game, it’ll be another increase for the third home game of the year. Normal capacity at Lucas Oil is 63,000.
- There’s so much overlap between the Colts and Bears. The Bears interviewed Chris Ballard for their general manager opening in 2015 (before hiring current GM Ryan Pace). The Colts interviewed Matt Nagy for their head coach opening in 2018 (before hiring current HC Frank Reich). You also have Chuck Pagano facing his former team, the Frank Reich/Nick Foles connection and Trey Burton possibly playing the team that cut him back in April.
- The Colts will have a walk-through on Saturday before heading up to Chicago to take on the Bears this Sunday at 1:00 PM.
FINAL Injury Report
-OUT: WR-Michael Pittman (calf), CB-T.J. Carrie (hamstring)
Bowen Analysis: This will be Pittman’s first missed game of his NFL career. Will Pittman go on IR (for three weeks) this Saturday?
The following players were on the Colts injury report this week, but have since been removed: RB-Nyheim Hines (shoulder), CB-Rock Ya-Sin (illness).