INDIANAPOLIS – New Year's Day meant a full day of work for the Indianapolis Colts.
Another afternoon practice lasted about two hours as the Colts had a promising injury report on Thursday.
Here are some headlines from coordinators Pep Hamilton, Greg Manusky and D'Qwell Jackson talking to the media on Thursday:
Pep Hamilton on what needs to be emphasized in the playoffs:
"At this point, we've got to accentuate our strengths, do what we do best to find ways to score."
Bowen's Analysis:* *In the past few weeks, the Colts have tried to establish a consistent running game for this time of year. Hamilton and Chuck Pagano always talk about the importance of needing a productive run game in January.
Hamilton said on Thursday that ideally the Colts would be balanced, but he knows this time of year it's a by any means possible method when trying to score. Hamilton said the Colts would continue to accentuate the offensive strengths. In a one-and-done scenario, there's little time to waste in focusing on wants vs. needs.
Greg Manusky on monitoring A.J. Green's concussion:
"That's a major player for them offensively.
"We are monitoring it, but we are assuming that he will play."
Bowen's Analysis: The status of A.J. Green took a step forward on Thursday with him practicing in a limited role. Green is still under the concussion protocol but is trending towards being on the field this weekend.
Manusky was asked on Thursday if the Colts will shadow Green, like Greg Toler did with Cleveland's Josh Gordon in early December. Manusky offered a "we'll see" comment, not wanting to reveal if the Colts would deviate from typically leaving Vontae Davis and Toler on their own sides of the field.
D'Qwell Jackson on playing in a game with the stakes this high:
"Never. Maybe back in high school, but not at this level. Not at all."
Bowen's Analysis: After nine seasons and 113 career games played, Jackson will experience the playoffs for the first time on Sunday. Jackson was very candid on Thursday talking about what this opportunity will be like for Colts leading tackler.
When Jackson went through the offseason and considered teams like Miami, Tennessee and Denver, this week was what he ultimately envisioned with the Colts. There's a good amount of playoff experience inside of the Colts locker room but a veteran in Jackson will finally get the chance to play one-and-done football, for the first time since high school.
Here's the injury report from Thursday's practice:
-DNP- A.Q. Shipley (ankle) and Hugh Thornton (shoulder).
-That's two straight days of missed practice for Shipley and Thornton, both players who left the Colts Week 17 matchup early.
-FULL- Dwayne Allen (knee), Josh Cribbs (rest), Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), Joe Reitz (ankle), Erik Walden (knee), Reggie Wayne (groin) and Bjoern Werner (shoulder).
-All in all, a pretty good injury report for the Colts with no guys limited on Thursday and a ton of key players participating fully.