INDIANAPOLIS – All signs are pointing to Matt Hasselbeck being under center when the Colts and Jaguars kick off Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Hasselbeck was once again a full participant at Thursday's practice. The staff will have some key injuries to keep an eye on though come Friday, from a defensive standpoint.
Here are some sound bites from coordinators Greg Manusky, Rob Chudzinski and running back Frank Gore.Greg Manusky on the Colts pass rush and getting more pressure via blitz:
"We have to do a better job coaching it and a better job playing it."
Bowen's Analysis: Manusky knows the sack numbers (19 so far this year, after 41 last season). He knows they have to improve and he talked on Thursday about the importance to help a banged up secondary with some pressure in the front.
The Colts defensive coordinator says the four-man rush has to get home and the staff has worked on improvements with their stunts to try and create more pressure. Manusky might be without three defensive starters on Sunday (Jerrell Freeman, Greg Toler and Erik Walden).Rob Chudzinski on having Phillip Dorsett back at practice:
"We will definitely work him in (to the game)."
Bowen's Analysis:* *The Colts first-round pick has been full-go at practice the past two days. He appears to be ready to make his return after not playing in six weeks (fibula injury). With Dorsett back involved, the Colts have a great problem at receiver with plenty of able bodies serving a variety of roles.
Chud also touched on Dwayne Allen during his Thursday media session. The Colts offensive coordinator said a big reason why Allen has only has 13 catches (19 targets) this season is because the team has asked him to be more of a blocker. With the Colts having to spread it out after getting down to Pittsburgh, Allen played just 25 snaps last week.
Frank Gore on finding a consistent run game as of late:
"It's been tough.
"I think if we keep fighting as a group it will happen for us."
Bowen's Analysis: Gore and the Colts are going to see another stout run defense on Sunday. With Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, we did see Gore more involved in the passing game against Pittsburgh. Despite the run game inconsistency as of late, Gore is still producing though in a yards from scrimmage standpoint. He's had at least 75 total yards in nine of the past 10 games.
The Colts certainly want to establish Gore on Sunday and he's going to be an important cog to whatever happens in January. Gore is the ultimate competitor and you know he wants to crack the 1,000-yard mark with four games left (needs 74.5 yards per game).**
Here is Thursday's injury report:
- DNP: S-Colt Anderson (ankle), OT-Anthony Castonzo (knee), ILB-Jerrell Freeman (hamstring/ribs), C-Khaled Holmes (fibula), QB-Andrew Luck (abdomen/kidney), CB-Greg Toler (knee), OLB-Erik Walden (foot)
-The key ones to watch from this group in terms of still being "day-to-day" are Toler and Walden. If Toler can't go, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky mentioned D'Joun Smith and Jalil Brown as two names who would be more involved defensively.
- LIMITED: ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (quad), WR-Griff Whalen (hamstring)
-Jackson missed practice on Wednesday. With Freeman likely out again on Sunday, Jackson's presence is vital.
- FULL: WR-Phillip Dorsett (ankle), QB-Matt Hasselbeck (neck/back), OG-Hugh Thornton (elbow)
-For the second straight day, Hasselbeck was a full participant on Thursday.