INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will head down to Nashville later this afternoon before taking on the Titans Thursday night. Today's news looks at the short week, the addition of Da'Rick Rogers. From the Titans side of things, the challenge of defending T.Y. Hilton and a new starting center for Tenneesse.
Take a look below at the top pieces fromWednesday, November 13th. Shorter work week has huge impact on Indianapolis Colts scheduleBy: Stephen Holder, Indy Star
In a season that follows a strict schedule week-in-and-week-out, the plan deviates this week with a Thursday night game.
Practice schedules are created with painstaking thought. Each day of game prep is put together with precise planning. Players are religious about their habits, ranging from how long to sit in numbing ice tubs to the manner in which their ankles are taped.
So, for the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, playing Thursday night in Nashville — just four days after their previous games —is, in effect, asking them to put aside everything they believe in.
For everyone involved, playing a midweek game is an immense challenge.
"It's not about sympathy, and I don't need anyone to play a violin or anything," Colts defensive end Cory Redding said. "But it's tough as hell to play in this league from Sunday to Sunday, much less from Sunday to Thursday. That's all about heart. You can try and plan for the team as best as possible, but there's only so much you can get into in two days. This is all about taking care of your body and knowing the team that you're playing. You have go out there and get this win off of sheer heart and guts and will."
Rogers gets his shot to help at receiverBy: Mike Wells, ESPN.com
With the Colts receivers group needing a spark without Reggie Wayne, the team has elevated the talented Da'Rick Rogers from the team's practice squad.
That's why the Colts decided to give Rogers a shot. He led the SEC in receptions -- 67 -- and yards -- 1,040 -- during his sophomore year at Tennessee in 2011. Rogers reportedly had multiple substance abuse violations and maturity problems while in college. Those issues overshadowed what he could do on the football field. The Colts told him they'd give him a shot as long as he stayed out of trouble.
"He's done everything that we've asked him to do," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "Now we're going to give him an opportunity because he's earned that opportunity to go along with he's big, he's fast and he's got excellent ball skills."
There's no guarantee Rogers will be active for Thursday's game at Tennessee.
"He's just another guy that we can add to the mix," Pagano said. "We feel like, we'll see how things go. It's not Thursday yet and we haven't put up who is going to be up, who is going to be down, those type of things but he's certainly a guy that if he gets out there, he's got playmaking ability."
Hilton a different challenge for Titans' DBsBy: Paul Kuharsky, AFC South Blog
The Titans secondary is used to preparing for Reggie Wayne but now it's the speedy T.Y. Hilton that has the unit's focus this week.
The loss of Reggie Wayne to a torn ACL on Oct. 20 was a blow for Indianapolis. But second-year man T.Y. Hilton is a speedster who moves all over the field and has 14 catches for 251 yards and three touchdowns in two games since Wayne's been out of the lineup.
He'll be Andrew Luck's top weapon when the Colts visit LP Field Thursday night.
"Great skillset," Luck said. "Dynamic, fast, can do a lot of things, great competitor, even better teammate, better person, great high-character guy, really fun to play with. He's really embraced this opportunity to be the guy. It's been fun being rookies together and now being in our second year maturing football wise. It's truly fun and a pleasure to play with him."
The Titans starting cornerbacks said keeping Hilton in front of them will be the top priority for the secondary.
"Last year it was probably just more him being a deep threat where now you see him working more intermediate routes, and working the short routes," Alterraun Verner said. "Like he's the guy, he's the most dependable guy that they have on the squad right now...
"On film you see he's running by people like it's a track meet and nobody's keeping up."
Spencer has at least one advantage at centerBy: John Glennon, The Tennessean
Along with the quarterback position, the Titans will also be incorporating a new starting center on Thursday night.
Chris Spencer will make his starting debut against Indianapolis.
"The biggest challenge for me … is dealing with a new quarterback and a new center," Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "You have a center that does things differently than the guy that was playing before him, and all of a sudden, schematically things have to change a little bit because of strengths and weaknesses."
One advantage Spencer has going for him is that he's worked a lot this year with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and now both will be in the starting lineup.
"Chris and I have worked together so much, just throughout training camp and practice and all that stuff, that there's really no concern at all," Fitzpatrick said of Spencer, a 2005 first-round draft pick of Seattle who has played in 114 NFL games.