Banged Up Colts Offense Preparing For NFL's Best Scoring Defense

Intro: Back on a normal practice schedule, the Colts were without several offensive players on Wednesday. That’s not ideal with the league’s top scoring defense waiting this weekend.

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INDIANAPOLIS – After the busiest start to the week roster move wise we've seen all season, the Colts returned to work on Wednesday with 52 of their 53 roster spots filled.

In Wednesday's first practice of the week getting ready for the Vikings, the Colts did not have their starting quarterback, along with several other important starters.

Here is the Wednesday notebook with Chuck Pagano updating the team's injury situation going into Week 15:

INJURY NOTES

  • TE-Dwayne Allen (hip): It's the first time we've seen Allen appear on the injury report in a while. Allen did not practice on Wednesday.
  • G-Denzelle Good (concussion): Good is progressing through the concussion protocol. The team's starting right guard had a red jersey on during practice.
  • DT-Zach Kerr (concussion): Just like Good, Kerr is progressing through the protocol. Both Good and Kerr were limited at Wednesday's practice.
  • OLB-Robert Mathis (elbow): Mathis had his normal rest day on Wednesday. The Colts are hoping to get Mathis on the practice field Thursday. Mathis said on his weekly radio show that he will be playing this weekend (barring any setbacks).
  • WR-Donte Moncrief (hamstring): Moncrief did not practice on Wednesday. Chuck Pagano has listed Moncrief at "day-to-day" after the third-year receiver left Sunday's loss early.
  • OT-Joe Reitz (back): Reitz has battled a back injury all season long. His absence on Wednesday is especially noteworthy because Reitz is a starter for this team right now with Jack Mewhort on injured reserve.

Dwayne Allen on the Minnesota defense:

"They are a very talented team. They can rush the passer. They can defend the pass. They can stop the run.

"Easily the most complete defense we've played to date."


Bowen's Analysis: The injury situation for the Colts is now shifting to the other side of the ball. That happens in a week the Colts are going to see arguably the best defense in the NFL. Minnesota doesn't allow many points, gets after the quarterback frequently and creates turnovers at a very high level.

With four offensive starters, plus Jack Mewhort, not practicing Wednesday, Rob Chudzinski has to hope things improve health wise for his unit. Obviously the Colts play this Sunday, but they then have a quick turnaround in playing at Oakland on a short week (next Saturday, on Christmas Eve).Chuck Pagano on Jacoby Brissett:

"He's like anybody else. He's a young player. We are not going to make any excuses for our young guys. They know where they are at and where they need to go. Everybody understands that. They know what the expectations are.

"Phil is working extremely hard to get better."


Bowen's Analysis: As the Colts are searching for more consistency from their 2015 first-round pick, they could really use it this weekend. With Donte Moncrief's status up in the air for Sunday, Dorsett might be back in a position he was for a lot of the first half of the season---as this team's No. 2 receiver.

Whether it's a lack of chemistry, drops or route running, Dorsett and Andrew Luck have not been able to have the sort of production you would expect in 2016. Minnesota's defense is going to delve plenty of resources to slow down T.Y. Hilton. That means Dorsett will have chances on Sunday to help this offense move the ball against a stingy Vikings defense.Chuck Pagano on Jack Mewhort's season-ending knee injury:

"It's a chondral defect. Maybe a meniscus."


Bowen's Analysis: Looking ahead to 2017, this is much better news than the alternative. It's not an ACL injury for Mewhort. The "chondral defect" is what Kendall Langford dealt with during Training Camp. Langford returned after four weeks, but the knee injury plagued him throughout the 2016 season, before the veteran defensive end went on injured reserve last month. The good news for Mewhort is he does not need a quick recovery. Mewhort, a fast healer, has plenty of time to rehab before the start of 2017.

In regards to the offensive line, Pagano was asked several times about the amount of hits that Andrew Luck has taken in his fifth NFL season. Pagano said the play up front has to get better. That's no easy task this week, with a true unknown on who is going to start along the offensive line against Minnesota and their stout front.**

INJURY REPORT**

Here is Wednesday's injury report:

-DNP: S-Mike Adams (rest), TE-Dwayne Allen (hip), CB-Vontae Davis (rest), RB-Frank Gore (rest), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder, elbow), OLB-Robert Mathis (bicep), WR-Donte Moncrief hamstring), Joe Reitz (back)

-LIMITED: OG-Denzelle Good (concussion), DT-Zach Kerr (concussion), CB-Patrick Robinson (groin)

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