INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts hope this past weekend was their last one off from football until mid-February.
Log-jammed with 8 other AFC teams having won at least 6 games this season (the most for a conference at this point of the season in NFL history), the Colts (6-3) know the margin for error is slim down the stretch.
What did we learn from Frank Reich and the Colts on Monday?
- As the Colts get ready to play the best quarterback they’ll face all season, it’s possible their speediest pass rusher could make his 2020 debut. After 4 practices over the last 3 weeks, DE-Kemoko Turay is being elevated to the active roster (he has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp). It’s still not a lock Turay will be dressing for Sunday’s game against the Packers, but he could be. If so, expect Turay to be on a pitch count, playing mostly on passing downs: “What we’ve seen out at practice is the same guy, with the speed and bend coming off the edge, a disruptive player with a lot of explosiveness, a natural knack to get off the ball and get off at the snap count,” Reich said on Monday. If Turay can stay healthy and be a consistent edge presence to finish the season, that would take this pass defense to another level.
- Perhaps more than any other aspect to football, the Colts have been a great run defense in the Frank Reich/Matt Eberflus era. Here’s how they’ve ranked against the run over the last three years: 2018 (8th, 101.6 yards per game), 2019 (7th, 97.9 yards per game), 2020 (3rd, 91.8 yards per game). Why have they been so steady there? “I think the scheme,” Reich says. “All the defensive line movement that we have is very disruptive in the run game. I just know from going against it in practice all the time, in training camp and OTAs. Scheme is part of it, (and) obviously it’s players. As we’ve said here, we want to build from the inside-out so we feel that we have some pretty good players up there, even right from the very start. We have had good play from the defensive line and linebackers in that front 7. I think it’s a combination of those two things.”
- On Monday, Frank Reich was asked about the development of 6th round pick WR-Dezmon Patmon. Back in late October, we noted how that it wasn’t a shock to see Patmon passed up by Marcus Johnson, Reece Fountain and DeMichael Harris to play in games. Patmon remains a healthy scratch in every game this season. “He looks good,” Reich said of the 6-4, 225-pound Patmon on Monday. “He continues to work really hard at practice. We are really excited that we have a really strong core of young receivers. We see them fitting into certain roles. As there have been opportunities early in the year for guys to step up for certain roles that we needed, we made the moves that we thought were best at the time. But we feel very good about Dez and his development and what he’s doing right now.”
- A few roster notes for this week: Reich said TE-Jack Doyle remains in concussion protocol. The staff is still monitoring the health of CB-Kenny Moore (ribs). LB-Matthew Adams will be taken off the COVID-19 list this week.
- The Colts will get back to their normal on-field practice schedule Wednesday, with sessions again on Thursday and Friday afternoon before taking on the Packers at 4:25 PM this Sunday, with 12,500 capacity allowed inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.