INDIANAPOLIS — National Football League coaching staffs try their best to prepare their players for just about anything that could come their way, but one element nobody can control — unless, of course, the game is played indoors — is the weather.
While teams can anticipate bad weather and implement various drills in practice to help prepare for the conditions, everybody knows that Mother Nature's unpredictability could make all that work for naught by the time the game is underway.
All that being said, the Indianapolis Colts are certainly keeping an eye on a scary-looking storm set to affect the East Coast this week, going into the weekend, that could very well impact their game on Sunday against the Washington Redskins at their open-air stadium, FedExField.
Hurricane Florence, which yesterday was declared a category 4 hurricane as it continues building steam in the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to hit the coastlines of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia later this week, and could dump more than 10 inches of rain in the Mid-Atlantic region by the time Sunday's game in Landover, Md., is through.
The potential for heavy rains and sustained wind gusts is certainly going to be a part of the Colts' preparations this week, head coach Frank Reich said, but then again, the team is not expected to do anything "dramatic," either.
"Yeah, you've got to keep that in mind, there's no doubt," Reich said Monday in a conference call with reporters. "We are aware of the forecast and there could be a lot of rain so you do have to factor that in a little bit."
Reich said that, in general, the Colts' gameplan for the Redskins would remain the same, no matter what the weather conditions end up being. From there, the Indy offensive and defensive units can make adjustments on the go if needed.
"The slots, for instance, that we fill on our offensive game plan are the same," Reich said. "We don't change much there, but we do kind of make slight adjustments and slight points of emphasis once the game plan is made once we see the weather conditions."
The Colts (0-1), who opened up their season with a 34-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, today begin preparations for a talented Redskins (1-0) team that had no issues disposing of the Arizona Cardinals, 24-6, in their 2018 opener at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
On offense, Washington was well-rounded, as new quarterback Alex Smith completed 21-of-31 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, while the team gained 182 yards on the ground with another score, led by veteran Adrian Peterson, who had 26 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. Peterson was just signed by the team prior to its third preseason game.
Defensively, the Redskins held the Cardinals to just 213 total net yards, including just 68 yards on the ground.