INDIANAPOLIS – It's the harsh reality the Colts are facing on defense right now.
In Week Two, the Colts will be without four defensive starters from the preseason.
Of the 11 players listed on this week's injury report, they ALL reside on defense. That means 11 of the team's 27 defenders are dealing with an injury.
With that, here is a look at the final injury report of the week and what Chuck Pagano and Robert Mathis had to say to the media on Friday:
Chuck Pagano on working Clayton Geathers back this Sunday:
"We will be smart with how we use him. You can't expect him to go out there and play 60 plays.
"We will use him the right way."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Let's start with the good news on the injury report. There's not a lot of "good" on the injury report, but the Colts are expected to have cornerback Darius Butler and safety Clayton Geathers on Sunday.
Butler (ankle) is back after missing the past few weeks. He practiced all week and could fill in at cornerback or safety this week. Remember, it was safety where Butler played in a pinch earlier in the preseason. With Geathers (foot), this is more of a pitch count situation. Geathers became a father this week and also returned to practice for the first time since June's minicamp. A foot injury in July kept Geathers away from the field for two months. After two days of practice this week, Geathers could very well be starting next to Mike Adams on Sunday. Winston Guy and Butler are other safety options, if/when Geathers needs a breather against Denver.
Chuck Pagano on if the Colts will bring a defensive back up from the practice squad before Sunday:
"All good questions. Great discussions. We've still got time to make those final decisions."
Bowen's Analysis: If the Colts do indeed bring up a defensive back, it will have to be done by Saturday. The Colts have options on their practice squad, including cornerback Frankie Williams, who started the season on the 53-man roster.
An educated guess at the secondary for Sunday would be this: Safety: Mike Adams and some combination of Geathers/Guy, and potentially Butler. Cornerback: You have Antonio Cromartie on one side. The other side could be Rashaan Melvin, who played outside last week. Butler and Darryl Morris are more slot corners, who might be needed outside, too.
Robert Mathis on the defensive game plan versus Denver:
"It's a very dangerous run game so we don't want that to beat us.
"We want to make (quarterback Trevor Siemian) beat us."
Bowen's Analysis: It's two ends of the spectrum in terms of quarterback experience the Colts are going to face to start the season. Denver's Trevor Siemian will be making the second start of his NFL career on Sunday.
Mathis, who says his toe is getting better, has to get the pass rush dialed up on Sunday. The Colts should not expect Siemian to hold onto the ball very long. This is a quarterback who fits what Denver head coach Gary Kubiak wants to do---rely on a zone running game and a very aggressive defense. Denver has the pieces in place around Siemian to take plenty of pressure off of his shoulders. The Colts need to apply some of that pressure back on the quarterback.
- OUT: DT-Henry Anderson (knee): This was Anderson's fourth straight week of practice. He's OUT for Sunday. Anderson did finally practice fully on Friday, a very good sign of him getting back to game action in Week Three.
- OUT: CB-Vontae Davis (ankle): We had another Davis sighting on Friday. Davis was back on the rehab field. The next step for Davis will be actually participating in practice.
- OUT: S-T.J. Green (knee): Green again joined Davis on the rehab field. Green is "week-to-week" with a mild MCL sprain.
- OUT: CB-Patrick Robinson (concussion): We saw Robinson go through some stretching and was present, as an observer, at Friday's practice.
- DOUBTFUL: OLB-Trent Cole (back): Cole did not practice any day this week. If he can't go on Sunday, look for more reps in the direction of newly signed Akeem Ayers and undrafted free agent Curt Maggitt.
- QUESTIONABLE: CB-Darius Butler (ankle): Butler looks to be a go this week after practicing each day.
- QUESTIONABLE: CB-Antonio Cromartie (hamstring): A slight tweak of the hamstring in practice for Cromartie will not keep him out this week.
- QUESTIONABLE: S-Clayton Geathers (foot): The update on Geathers is above.
- QUESTIONABLE: DT-Zach Kerr (foot): Look for Kerr to play, with another five healthy defensive linemen this week.
- QUESTIONABLE: DE-Kendall Langford (knee): Just like last week, Langford sat out Friday's practice. Will we see Langford's snap count rise after logging 22 reps in Week One?
- QUESTIONABLE: OLB-Robert Mathis (foot): Mathis says the hyperextended toe of his is getting better after he practiced the last two days.