INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday began on-field preparations for Sunday's crucial AFC South Divisional matchup against the Houston Texans.
Whether or not Indy will have two key pieces on the offensive side of the ball for that game remains up in the air, however.
Head coach Frank Reich said that the team is more in a day-to-day mode with center Ryan Kelly and tight end Mo Alie-Cox, both of whom have missed the Colts' last two games with injuries — and both of whom did not practice once again on Wednesday.
» Kelly suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of the Colts' Week 11 victory over the Tennessee Tians, and has not been able to return to the practice field since, with Evan Boehm getting the first two starts of his Colts career at center in Kelly's place. Reich said Wednesday Kelly is "doing great and making progress."Just still in that monitoring every day (mode), and want to be smart — want to get him back as soon as we can — but we still wanna be smart about it."
» Alie-Cox is in the same general boat as Kelly. The first-year tight end suffered his calf injury in the week leading up to the Week 12 game against the Miami Dolphins and has not returned to the game or practice field since. With the loss of Jack Doyle for the season due to a kidney injury suffered during that Dolphins game, Alie-Cox remains one of the stronger blockers among the team's tight ends. "He will not practice today," Reich said. "We're just going to continue to monitor him day-by-day."
Kelly and Alie-Cox were two of several Colts players who were not seen during the early portion of Wednesday's practice open to the media. Others included the team's top two wide receivers (T.Y. Hilton and Dontrelle Inman), two key safeties (Clayton Geathers and Mike Mitchell), a starting linebacker (Anthony Walker), the team's top tight end (Eric Ebron) and Indy's starting nose tackle (Margus Hunt).
The Colts also had a lengthy list of players who didn't practice last Wednesday leading up to the Week 13 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but ended up playing in that game. Those included Ebron, Geathers, Hilton, Walker, linebacker Darius Leonard, and running back Marlon Mack.
» DNP: TE Mo Alie-Cox (calf); TE Eric Ebron (back/illness); S Clayton Geathers (knee); WR T.Y. Hilton (shoulder); DT Margus Hunt (knee); WR Dontrelle Inman (shoulder); C Ryan Kelly (knee); S Mike Mitchell (calf)
» Limited: CB Nate Hairston (ankle); S Malik Hooker (hip); CB Chris Milton (hamstring); WR Chester Rogers (groin); TE Erik Swoope (knee)
» Full: None