INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts were back outdoors on Friday, in the elements they are expected to see on Sunday night in Pittsburgh.
Without four key starters, the Colts will play their final primetime game of 2015 against a team sitting one game back of the playoffs.
Here are some sound bites from Chuck Pagano and Robert Mathis meeting the media on Friday:Chuck Pagano on more injuries along offensive line:
"You just have to keep moving.
"The coaches do a great job in that room so it's next man up. They are not cancelling the game."
Bowen's Analysis: With Hugh Thornton ruled out for Sunday, the Colts will start a new offensive line for a third straight week. Chuck Pagano mentioned Lance Louis and Todd Herremans as the possibilities to fill in at right guard for Thornton
If Louis is the starter, the Colts will have an entirely different line from the one they employed at Training Camp (LT-Joe Reitz, LG-Jack Mewhort, C-Jonotthan Harrison, RG-Lance Louis, RT-Denzelle Good). It's going to be quite the test for a new-look offensive line this weekend in a very hostile environment.Chuck Pagano on the challenge this week:
"We are going to have to play a great football game, error free, to go get this job done.
"An exciting opportunity for us."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Sunday's atmosphere is playoff-like for the Colts. A road, primetime game, in cold weather, against an elite quarterback---that's what January football is and what the Colts will have to go through to make any playoff run.
It looks like the Colts will have Mike Adams (listed as probable) back for this matchup. That will give the Colts the quarterback of their secondary against an explosive Pittsburgh receivers group. Adams' return slides Clayton Geathers back into his dime package role, a personnel grouping we could see a lot of against one of the league's top passing attack.
Robert Mathis on playing at Heinz Field:
"They got the Terrible Towels going.
"When they get the towels going it can get annoying."
Bowen's Analysis: Mathis was back home last year when the Colts couldn't muster a pass rush in Pittsburgh. Now, Mathis is back and the Colts pass rush has been menacing in the second halves the past two weeks.
With Houston playing in Buffalo this weekend, the top two teams in the AFC South will have road conference games on Sunday. When the Colts and Texans meet at Lucas Oil Stadium in two weeks, it's shaping up to be as close to a winner take all matchup as you can get for a division title.**
Here is Friday's injury report:
- OUT: OT-Anthony Castonzo (knee), WR-Phillip Dorsett (ankle), ILB-Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), QB-Andrew Luck (abdomen/kidney), OG-Hugh Thornton (elbow)
-Dorsett did get back on the practice field Friday (limited) for the first time in a month. That's obviously great news on his recovery. Without Freeman for some of last week's game, we saw Nate Irving slide into the starting lineup.
- QUESTIONABLE: C-Khaled Holmes (fibula)
-If Holmes can't go Sunday, the only healthy reserve offensive lineman for the Colts will be Lance Louis/Todd Herremans (whoever doesn't start at right guard). So there's still maybe a call up from the practice squad for the Colts OL before Sunday.
- PROBABLE: S-Mike Adams (ankle/hamstring), OLB-Erik Walden (heel)
-The return of Adams would be more than ideal for the challenge coming Sunday for the Colts defense. Adams was a full participant in Friday's practice.