INDIANAPOLIS – Will Jonathan Taylor miss his first game due to injury…in forever on Thursday?
That’s the major injury question on this short week as the Colts (1-2-1) will travel to Denver (2-2) on Wednesday for Thursday’s kickoff at 8:15 PM.
Here are the takeaways from the Colts holding a walk-through on Tuesday:
- Jonathan Taylor says he’s planning to play on Thursday night, but more treatment is needed to make sure his injured right ankle responds enough to suit up against Denver. Any injury for Taylor is rare. He can’t remember the last time he’s missed a game due to injury. Taylor was wearing a boot on his injured right ankle while watching the stretching portion of Tuesday’s walk through. He said he is feeling better than he did on Sunday. A couple of things to watch for in gauging Taylor’s status for Thursday night, which looks to be heading for a game-time decision: If the Colts are to make a practice squad move for RB-Philip Lindsay, that will have to come by the 4:00 PM eastern deadline on Thursday afternoon. And then, of course, Taylor testing out that ankle pre-game, after a week of just walk-through work. Frank Reich said the status for Taylor is up in the air for Thursday, but the Colts have a plan in place for him to play. Reich added that in his conversations with the Colts medical team, he doesn’t believe Taylor can further aggravate his injured ankle.
- That bloody scene on Sunday was a broken nose for Shaquille Leonard, to go along with a concussion, which has No. 53 out for Thursday night in Denver. How long could Leonard’s broken nose keep him out. “We need to do some further testing on that to see,” Reich said on Tuesday. “Wait for the swelling to go down to get a more accurate feel for if that’s going to come into play.” Reich didn’t rule out the possibility of injured reserve for Leonard, which would keep him out for at least four games, and thus take him off the practice field during that time, too. Considering where Leonard is at in trying to get up to 100 percent after his back surgery/lingering ankle pain, practice time is extra valuable for him right now.
- The offensive rut the Colts are in is approaching historic proportions in going 6 straight games of scoring 20 points or less. Again, if that stretch reaches 7 games on Thursday, it would be the longest for the franchise since 1993. And what makes this particular run even worse is the Colts have played some terrible defenses in this time. These are the defensive rankings in points allowed for those Colts opponents: 29th (Titans), 19th (Chiefs), 28th (Jaguars), 27th (Texans), 31st (Jaguars), 26th (Raiders). So, the Colts have had an extremely rare, and bad, scoring performance, and have been doing it against bottom feeder defenses. That’s not good.
- One additional thing to note on Jonathan Taylor’s short-week status. Not only is he dealing with two lower body injuries (toe and ankle), but he’s doing it coming off a short week in which he played 88% of the offensive snaps, which is the third highest amount of his career. When you factor in those things, it’s going to be very interesting to see if Taylor plays on Thursday and/or if the Colts feel the need to limit his usual uncapped workload. The Colts are saying Taylor’s main reason for an in question status this week is due to the ankle injury suffered in Sunday’s 4th quarter.
- Want some glass half full on the Colts (1-2-1) right now? How about their upcoming schedule? The Colts will not play a team with a record better than .500 until November 20th. Their next 6 games are against teams all with records at .500 or worse: at Broncos, Jaguars, at Titans, Commanders, at Patriots, at Raiders. Is this the opportunity the Colts need to get things back on track?
- Something to watch for in the roster move department this week, the Colts have used up the maximum number of practice squad elevations (3) for kicker Chase McLaughlin this season. So in order for McLaughlin to kick on Thursday, and the rest of the season, they needed to sign him to the 53-man roster, which means cutting ties with someone to open up that spot. The Colts did that on Tuesday by waiving WR-Dezmon Patmon, who was having no game day role as the 6th wideout. If the Colts want Patmon back on the practice squad, he will have to clear waivers.
- It’s a week full of walk-throughs for the Colts as they get ready for their lone Thursday night contest of the year. The Colts will head to Denver on Wednesday to play on TNF, on Amazon Prime, and locally on the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, at 8:15 PM.