INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will be down half their starting secondary on Sunday.
A win is a must for the Colts in Sunday’s season finale against the Jaguars, if they want to experience the postseason.
What did we learn from the Colts on Friday?
- As we touched on Thursday, the Colts will be down two secondary starters in S-Khari Willis (concussion) and CB-Rock Ya-Sin (concussion) against the Jaguars. The loss of Willis is critical because he does so much for this defense pre- and post-snap. Ya-Sin has remained a starter late in the year, but his playing time has definitely decreased. If the Colts continue to roll with the pattern they’ve had in previous games, look for veteran Tavon Wilson to start for Willis and T.J. Carrie to start for Ya-Sin. One thing to note on the Jaguars injury front: No. 1 WR-D.J. Chark will not play on Sunday.
- Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was limited on Friday and will be good to go for Sunday. The Colts are trying to rest Buckner in some capacity throughout the week because his ankle injury does get aggravated when playing.
- The Colts made a roster move on Friday that could impact the look of the offensive line on Sunday. With Anthony Castonzo going on IR, the Colts took guard/center Joey Hunt off the COVID-19 list and then signed him to the active roster. Remember, it was actually Hunt (and not Danny Pinter) who filled in at left guard against the Raiders, when Quenton Nelson was needed over at left tackle. Now, Hunt hasn’t practiced in the last two weeks, so would him participating for just one day be enough to then play every snap against the Jaguars 48 hours from now? We’ll see. But Hunt’s presence now on the 53-man roster is something to keep an eye on as the Colts try to figure out what to do without Castonzo. For those curious about who will start at left tackle on Sunday, Reich wouldn’t reveal that during his Friday presser. Reich did say Nelson got some reps at left tackle and looked good. Veteran newcomer Jared Veldheer also caught Reich’s eye this week.
- How to judge this Colts season has been heavily debated this week. Based off what Darius Leonard said after last season’s missed postseason, there’s little to debate. “For a team to not make the playoffs, you are considered a sorry team,” Leonard said during last offseason. “There’s no sugarcoating it. You sucked. Last year we sucked, and we got to make sure we don’t feel that feeling again. We have to grind and we have to do everything we can to make the playoffs. If we don’t make the playoffs, it’s a bust for us…you suck if you don’t make the playoffs.” The Colts are trying to get into the postseason for the first time since 2018. Missing the playoffs would mean no postseason in 5 of 6 seasons for the franchise. That would be the worst stretch for the team since the late 80s/early 90s.
- Any redemption still lingering for the Colts from last year’s season finale (a 38-20 loss in Jacksonville)? The Colts were already eliminated from the playoffs when they took on the Jaguars in Week 17 last season. In the history of the AFC South (been a division since 2002), the Jaguars have swept the Colts just two times (2011 and 2017). Among other things, that’s what the Colts are trying to avoid this Sunday.
- This is a franchise-bad Jaguars defense in 2020. They have allowed a franchise-worse 464 points this season, which is the most in team history, and that’s with one game remaining. They rank 32nd in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed this season.
- Since November 2019, the Jaguars are 3-20 (worst mark in the NFL. Two of their three wins are over the Colts. The Jaguars have lost 14 games by at least 10 points in that span. That’s the most in the NFL.
- The Colts will have a Saturday morning walk-through ahead of Sunday’s 4:25 PM season finale against the Jaguars.
Final Injury Report
-OUT: S-Khari Willis (concussion), CB-Rock Ya-Sin (concussion), OT-Will Holden (ankle)
Bowen Analysis: Had Holden not got hurt when filling in for Anthony Castonzo last Sunday, he would have been another left tackle option this week.
-QUESTIONABLE: WR-Michael Pittman (concussion)
Bowen Analysis: With a full practice each of the last two days, Pittman looks good to return on Sunday. He will need final clearance from an independent neurologist to get the green light.