INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said today that tight end Mo Alie-Cox and tackle Chaz Green have been ruled out of Sunday's Week 6 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Linebacker Darius Leonard, meanwhile, is being ruled doubtful for the game, while four players — defensive tackle/end Denico Autry, tackle Anthony Castonzo, defensive end Justin Houston and running back Jordan Wilkins — are ruled questionable.
» Alie-Cox initially appeared on the injury report Wednesday, when he did not participate with a knee issue; he also did not participate in Thursday's practice. The third-year tight end, who has 11 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns on the year, was able to play the entire game last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns; he logged 21 snaps on offense and six on special teams, and was targeted with one pass, which was intercepted. With Alie-Cox unavailable Sunday vs. the Bengals, the team will likely turn to veterans Trey Burton and Jack Doyle to pick up the slack at the tight end position, while undrafted rookie Noah Togiai, who has been inactive the past couple weeks, could also be in line for some more playing time. The Colts also have two tight ends — Farrod Green and Hale Hentges — on their practice squad if needed.
» Green first appeared on the Colts' injury report Thursday, when he missed practice with a back injury. He has played 34 total snaps on the year, 28 of which have been spent on Indy's field goal/extra point unit; Green also played left guard in place of Quenton Nelson for six snaps towards the end of the Colts' Week 3 win over the New York Jets. With Green out on Sunday, then Le'Raven Clark, could be the team's top backup option at tackle once again, while Danny Pinter is a jack-of-all-trades up front for the Indy offensive line; the Colts also have rookie tackle Carter O'Donnell on their practice squad if needed.
» Leonard suffered a groin injury just before halftime of the Colts' Week 4 win over the Chicago Bears, and would end up sitting out his first game of the season last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Leonard did not participate in practice the first two days this week. Anthony Walker (seven tackles, one for a loss, with an interception and two passes defensed), Bobby Okereke (10 tackles, an interception and a pass defensed) and Zaire Franklin (seven tackles) could all be depended upon to step up once again after strong performances in Leonard's place last week. The Colts also have linebackers E.J. Speed and Jordan Glasgow available, while veteran Najee Goode is ready to go on the practice squad if needed.
» Autry exited the Colts' Week 5 matchup against the Browns last week in the second quarter with what was initially described as an ankle injury, though he returned to action later in the period. He finished the game having played 54 total defensive and five special teams snaps, and was credited with seven tackles (one for a loss). Autry did not participate in the Colts' first two practices this week with ankle and knee injuries. If he is limited or cannot play Sunday vs. the Bengals, then Al-Quadin Muhammad could be a candidate to get the start at defensive end opposite Justin Houston. The Colts also have Ben Banogu, Ron'Dell Carter and Tyquan Lewis as quality depth at defensive end.
» Castonzo suffered a rib injury during the Colts' Week 4 victory over the Chicago Bears, and ended up missing not only the final four offensive snaps of that contest, but also last week's entire game against the Cleveland Browns. The 10th-year veteran out of Boston College was made his return to practice on Wednesday, when he was limited, and was able to increase his workload to full practice status by Thursday. If Castonzo is limited or can't play Sunday vs. the Bengals, then look for fifth-year veteran Le'Raven Clark to get his second straight start in Castonzo's place. Rookie Danny Pinter could also be an emergency option off the left edge if needed; the Colts also have rookie tackle Carter O'Donnell on their practice squad.
» Houston initially appeared on the injury report on Wednesday with a hip issue; he played the entire game last Sunday vs. the Browns, finishing with one tackle and one quarterback hit — which led to an interception by linebacker Anthony Walker — on 49 total defensive snaps. Should Houston be limited in or sit out Sunday's game against the Bengals, then, depending on the status of Denico Autry, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Ben Banogu, Ron'Dell Carter and Tyquan Lewis are all candidates to get the start at defensive end for Indy.
» Wilkins initially appeared on the injury report Wednesday, when he was limited with a calf issue; he did not end up participating in Thursday's practice. The 26-year-old Ole Miss product has 28 carries for 95 yards so far this season primarily as Indy's No. 3 running back, but played just two offensive and eight special teams snaps last Sunday against the Browns, finishing with one carry for one yard. Should Wilkins be limited or out Sunday vs. the 49ers, look for Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines to get more of the bulk of the workload at running back; the Colts also have two running backs — Darius Anderson and Darius Jackson — on their practice squad if needed.
Here is Friday's practice report, with their designation for Sunday's game (if applicable):
» DNP: TE Mo Alie-Cox (knee; out); S Julian Blackmon (groin); QB Jacob Eason (not injury related); T Chaz Green (back; out); WR T.Y. Hilton (rest); DE Justin Houston (hip; questionable); LB Darius Leonard (groin; doubtful); RB Jordan Wilkins (calf; questionable)
» Limited: N/A
» Full: DT/DE Denico Autry (ankle/knee; questionable); TE Trey Burton (rest); T Anthony Castonzo (rib; questionable)