INDIANAPOLIS – The clock was approaching 5:00 a.m. Monday morning when the Colts' team plane landed at Indianapolis International Airport.
Because of the late arrival back home, Pagano did not have many specific injury updates at his Monday presser on the several players who had to leave Sunday's 26-23 loss.
On Monday, after reviewing the film of the team's fourth loss of the season, Pagano touched on the early-season struggles, the play of the defense and his team looking up at the rest of the AFC South.
- TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle): Pagano said the Colts were still waiting on Allen's MRI. Ankle injuries have forced Allen to miss time in previous seasons. If Allen has to be held out, the Colts will lean even more heavily on Jack Doyle, while also expanding the role for Mo Alie-Cox.
- DE-Henry Anderson (knee): It was a knee injury that took Anderson out of Sunday's game. Anderson did return to action though. This was not the same knee that Anderson tore his ACL in last season.
- WR-Quan Bray (ankle): Bray came into Sunday with a shin injury, but it was an ankle issue that did not allow him to finish the game in Houston.
- CB-Darius Butler (cramps): Butler left Sunday's game late with some cramps.
- WR-Jacoby Brissett (hamstring): Pagano said Dorsett was battling a couple of things during Sunday's game, but the major issue was the hamstring injury that took him out of the game.
- OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle): Pagano isn't sure what Maggitt's status is for this week.
- WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder): Pagano said Moncrief is getting closer but does not have a specific return date to practice for the third-year receiver. Moncrief is entering the fifth week of an injury that was expected to keep him out four-to-six weeks.
Chuck Pagano on the current state of his team at 2-4:
"I think what we are is a three-quarter team. We've got to find a way to become a four-quarter team."
Bowen's Analysis:* *We've seen the slow starts, followed by strong finishes. And on Sunday, we saw a promising start, marred by a fourth-quarter to forget. Playing three quarters of quality football in the NFL isn't going to lead to a postseason berth for the Colts.
Pagano did back track a bit on Monday on his "lack of a killer instinct" comment that he made in the aftermath of Sunday's loss. While that phrase wasn't used on Monday, the Colts have had chances to win each of their six games this season in the game's final minutes. They've lost four of those, so something is missing from this team getting back to the early Pagano teams---squads that excelled in one-possession games.
Chuck Pagano on the play of his defense against Houston:
"For three quarters, we had a dominant performance."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Through 45-50 minutes on Sunday, the Colts were on the verge of easily their most impressive performance of 2016. Pagano was adamant in looking back on the film Monday that the defensive scheme/game plan did not change in the fourth quarter. But missed tackles and a lack of a pass rush brought Houston right back into the game.
The Colts did not need that game-changing turnover to leave Houston with a win on Sunday. Just one more stop on defense would likely have been enough. It was a terrific defensive effort on Sunday, until the fourth-quarter clock started moving. In Week Seven, the Colts will now see a team that wants to line up and pound it all day long, with the Tennessee Titans having the NFL's third-ranked rushing offense.Chuck Pagano on where his team must go with the midway point of the season rapidly approaching:
"I'm charged with the job of getting it corrected.
"There's a lot of football left to be played and we will dig ourselves out of this hole."
Bowen's Analysis: This is foreign territory for the Colts and Chuck Pagano, too. The Colts are 2-4 through six weeks. They are two games behind the leaders of the AFC South and are 0-2 in the division this season.
When the 2016 schedule came out in April, the thought was the second half of the season had a few more roadblocks than the front. That only adds to the degree of difficultly the Colts now face. On the horizon are three games before the bye week, (at Tennessee, Kansas City and at Green Bay). For the Colts to set themselves up for meaningful football in November and December, the Colts will need nothing short of a 2-1 record the next three weeks to stay afloat in the AFC South.
On Monday, the Colts waived cornerback Frankie Williams.
Depending on the injury situation of those above, the Colts could have a busy roster day on Tuesday, filling this open roster and possibly a few others.