FOXBORO, Mass. — The Indianapolis Colts were banged up entering Thursday night’s clash with the New England Patriots. They left Foxboro in even worse shape after their 38-24 loss.
With seven players initially listed as inactive, two others also did not dress for the game, and another was only to be used in the most dire of emergencies. The Colts then lost four more defensive players in the process: linebacker Anthony Walker, safety Clayton Geathers, defensive end/tackle Denico Autry and safety Matthias Farley.
With an extended week until their next game, head coach Frank Reich said the break is coming at a good time.
"You get a little bit of extra rest," Reich said after the game. "You don't like having a long weekend to sit on a tough loss, but we'll certainly use the time to get guys healthy and get them back in the lineup."
Midway through the first quarter against the Patriots, Walker, the Colts' starting MIKE linebacker, left the game to be evaluated for a concussion before ultimately leaving for the day.
He was injured making a tackle against Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel when their helmets collided on the play. Walker was replaced in the lineup by Najee Goode.
Shortly after, starting strong safety Clayton Geathers also left to be evaluated for a concussion. He, too, was injured making a tackle on Michel near the end of the first quarter as the running back barreled forward for a 14-yard run and crashed into Geathers.
Geathers was initially considered questionable to return, but then was declared out with both a concussion and neck injury. Geathers was replaced in the lineup by Matthias Farley, who would intercept a Tom Brady pass and force a fumble on Rob Gronkowski in the third quarter that was recovered by Goode.
The Colts also lost another starter in Autry — who struggled with an ankle injury early in the season — near the end of the second quarter with a hamstring injury. We saw more of Carroll Phillips, Kemoko Turay and Jihad Ward in Autry’s absence.
About midway through the fourth quarter, Farley — Geathers’ replacement — suffered a hamstring injury. He appeared to have suffered the injury while attempting to make a tackle against — you guessed it — Michel.
Starting defensive end/tackle Margus Hunt also briefly left the game with a knee injury during the second quarter, but he returned shortly thereafter.
On defense, the Colts were already without starting WILL linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle), cornerbacks Nate Hairston (ankle), Kenny Moore II (concussion) and Quincy Wilson (concussion) and defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (calf) heading into the game.
Despite that fact, neither Reich nor the Colts were using that as a crutch after the game.
"I promise you, I don't ever think we are outmanned," said Reich, who usually updates reporters on the status of players injured in games the day after and is expected to have a conference call with the media on Friday.
The Colts now have about a week and a half to get as healthy as they can before their Week 6 matchup with the New York Jets on Oct. 14.