INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are already down one key defender for Sunday and they appear to be looking at two more game-time decisions on that side of the ball.
We know defensive end Henry Anderson is lost for the season. The Colts could also be without safety Mike Adams (ankle) and D'Qwell Jackson (hamstring) on Sunday, after the duo both missed their second straight day of practice.
They are the clear-cut injuries to watch going into Friday, the final day of practice for the Colts.
Here are some sound bites from coordinators Rob Chudzinski and Greg Manusky on Thursday:Rob Chudzinski on designing an offense for Matt Hasselbeck:
"Matt is real flexible.
"His football knowledge makes it easy to relate to and we will do things to feature his strengths."
Bowen's Analysis: Chud isn't going to deviate too much from the script we saw against Denver, where a balanced, 40-rush, attack was the staple of the best offensive output of 2015.
As Chud said on Thursday, he's very fortunate to have Matt Hasselbeck as the backup when another sudden change scenario developed. When the Colts do throw the football with Hasselbeck under center expect the ball to come out with a quick rhythm. Per Pro Football Focus, Hasselbeck has thrown passes on average in 2.2 seconds this season, the fifth quickest of any player this season.Rob Chudzinski on the bye week work for the offensive staff:
"It was necessary and it was something we needed to do.
"Hopefully it will help us."
Bowen's Analysis:* *This wasn't your typical bye week for Chud. A couple of days of rest weren't on the agenda. The Colts offensive staff spent last week dissecting the first half of the season and setting an identity for what they want from the unit in these final seven games.
Coaching is all about challenges, something Chud says the Colts staff has had to fully embrace here in 2015. One intricate of Chud "the play caller" is he prefers being up in the booth on game days. While this limits player-to-coach communication in the course of a game, Chud says he likes seeing the entire field from the booth vantage point and is where he's called plays from since his college days at Miami.
Greg Manusky on rookie cornerback D'Joun Smith:
"He's got to get his wheels underneath him."
Bowen's Analysis: The Colts third-round pick from earlier this year could make his NFL debut on Sunday. Smith went on injured reserve designated to return following the season opener due to a knee injury. Manusky said Smith still needs to work on his fundamentals but you can see the athletic ability in the Florida Atlantic product. It's probably too early for Smith to log significant defensive snaps on Sunday.
Manusky wants to see improved play from his secondary, a group that will be tested with some elite, elite receivers in the second half of the season. The secondary could also be without the quarterback of its unit on Sunday with Mike Adams (ankle) missing practice the past two days.**
Here is Thursday's injury report
- DNP: S-Mike Adams (ankle), WR-Phillip Dorsett (ankle), ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (hamstring), QB-Andrew Luck (abdomen/kidney)
-Adams and Jackson have now missed two straight days. Pagano said on Wednesday he thought there was a chance Jackson would practice Thursday, but the Colts leading tackler ended up being held out. Outside of T.Y. Hilton two weeks ago, the Colts (under Pagano) have not had a player miss a full week of practice and play that Sunday/Monday, hence the potential concern for Adams/Jackson.
- LIMITED: ILB-Nate Irving (limited)
-Irving has been inactive the past two weeks due to a setback with his knee. He's now been a limited participant at practice the past two days.
- FULL: WR-Andre Johnson (rest), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest)