INDIANAPOLIS – The injury news took center stage for Chuck Pagano's Sunday afternoon conference call.
A day after the Colts 24-14 preseason victory over the Rams, Pagano provided some injury updates on a few key starters/contributors.
What did Pagano say on his Sunday conference call with the media?Chuck Pagano on the ankle injury to Arthur Jones:
"I'm still waiting on some more information from our docs, so I'll know more (Monday)."
Bowen's Analysis: Reports surfaced on Sunday that Jones might have suffered a high ankle sprain, but Pagano said the Colts defensive tackle was still being evaluated. Pagano said the Colts are obviously hopeful the injury isn't as serious as the ankle injury Jones suffered last year (this injury is on Jones' left ankle, different from last year), limiting him to nine games in 2014.
Jones, who lost 20 pounds this offseason to alleviate pressure on his ankles/knees, is obviously one of the most indispensable Colts in 2015. If Jones misses time, Pagano said he was pleased with what rookie third-round pick Henry Anderson showed in relief duty on Saturday. The Colts regular season opener is two weeks from Sunday, with electric running back LeSean McCoy waiting in Week One (the Colts don't face another "elite" running back for a few weeks after McCoy).
Chuck Pagano on the hamstring injury to Vick Ballard and how that impacts roster decisions:
"It is tough, because he's been out for two seasons and the small looks that we got in Training Camp…he started to look like the old Vick. I think we all saw signs of it."
Bowen's Analysis: Ballard was inactive on Saturday night, after he suffered a hamstring injury during Thursday's practice. This hamstring setback is the opposite one from which Ballard felt tighten back at Training Camp, forcing him to miss a few days of camp.
Pagano is hoping Ballard can get back on the field this week. Roster cuts are looming on Tuesday (cut from 90 to 75) and Saturday (cut from 75 to 53). Like he always does, Pagano praised Ballard during the conference call Sunday, calling the running back a "complete player". Ballard has played just eight snaps of football since the 2013 regular season opener.Chuck Pagano on Donald Thomas coming off the PUP list:
"Much like bringing Robert (Mathis) off (PUP), I'm going to listen to our trainers and our doctors because once you bring them off, now you can start to introduce them back into football."
Bowen's Analysis: Prior to the Colts leaving for St. Louis on Friday, the team removed Donald Thomas from the physically unable to perform list.
The likely path for Thomas will come with the Colts working him back into walk-throughs and easing him into individual drills. The last time Thomas has played in a game setting was Week Two of the 2013 season, so seeing him in practice/game action is vital.