INDIANAPOLIS – Just how many defensive starters could the Colts be without for Week One of the regular season?
Chuck Pagano answered that on Tuesday, as his Colts get ready for Week Three of the preseason, a home contest versus the Eagles on Saturday night.
What were the major injury updates that Pagano provided on Tuesday morning?
- DE-Henry Anderson (knee): He is off the PUP list and practiced in full pads on Tuesday, his first such action since last November. Pagano says Anderson still might not be ready for Week One of the regular season.
- CB-Vontae Davis (ankle): Week-to-week with a medial sprain. No further update on the timetable for Davis.
- S-Clayton Geathers (foot): The Colts are preparing not to have Geathers for Week One. Geathers has been limited to biking/treadmill work and has not done anything too intense on the field (cutting, driving, etc). If Geathers is indeed not ready for Week One, the Colts will have to make a decision on whether to place him on the non-football injury list for another six weeks (like being on PUP to start the season) or have him active on the 53-man roster.
- DE-Kendall Langford (knee): Pagano said on Tuesday that the doctors and trainers think Langford will be ready for Week One. The scope on Langford's knee came on Aug. 8. The Colts expected him to miss three-to-four weeks.
- CB-Patrick Robinson (groin): Day-to-day. Did not practice on Tuesday.
Antonio Cromartie on coming to Indianapolis:
"An opportunity to prove myself that I know I can still play at a high level."
Bowen's Analysis:* *As a former defensive backs coach, Chuck Pagano calls a player like Cromartie the "perfect" fit for what the Colts want in a corner. Cromartie's workout on Monday was "great," per Pagano.
At 6-2 and north of 200 pounds, Cromartie has the long, athletic, skillset that can hold up in man coverage. Pagano said the terminology in Indianapolis is very similar from what Cromartie had playing for Rex Ryan with the Jets. Pagano said the Colts have not yet decided if Cromartie will play in the final two preseason games of 2016.
Chuck Pagano on Robert Mathis likely not playing this preseason:
"You don't need to see him play. I don't need to see him play. Nobody in this room needs to see Robert play.
"He has not forgotten how to play football, rush the passer and set edges."
Bowen's Analysis: Pagano's quote on the 35-year-old Mathis speaks for itself. Mathis is healthy. Pagano made that clear on Tuesday. In Pagano's words, it would be "foolish" to add unnecessary wear and tear on Mathis during the month of August.
Now, Frank Gore could see a little more run on Saturday. Gore wants to play and he might add a carry or two to his abbreviated preseason action. On Tuesday, Pagano did expand on how fluid the reps are behind Gore right now. The pecking order at running back is still very much up in the air with two preseason games left in 2016.
Chuck Pagano on the injuries impacting roster cuts coming:
"That's a great question. It certainly muddies the water a little bit."
Bowen's Analysis: This is a storyline to watch in the next week, week and a half. The first roster cut down comes next Tuesday (90-to-75 players). The final cut down occurs a week from Saturday (75-to-53 players), two days after the preseason finale in Cincinnati.
Where the Colts have a dilemma is with the injured defenders. What if Anderson, Davis and Geathers (if not more) have to miss the start of the regular season? There goes three (of your seven) inactive spots right away. Do you have enough roster spots to balance out the necessary depth, but still not have to use your short-term IR/designated to return, spot to start the regular season.**
On Monday night, the Colts signed undrafted free agent wide receiver Justin Berger and waived wide receivers Marcus Leak and Andrew Opoku.