INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts today officially began on-field preparations for Sunday's Week 16 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. What were some of the top takeaways on the day?
Here is today's injury report, the first of the week for the Colts:
Buckner, Castonzo DNP
Two key members of the Colts' interior — one on the offensive line and the other on the defensive line — continue to work their way back after playing through injuries of late.
Left tackle Anthony Castonzo and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner both did not practice on Wednesday.
» Castonzo suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee early in the second quarter of the Colts' Week 12 loss to the Tennessee Titans, and did not return. He ended up missing the following week's game against the Houston Texans before returning for Indy's Week 14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Castonzo was able to play all 54 offensive snaps in last Sunday's home victory over the Texans, but he's still not yet back to full strength, head coach Frank Reich told reporters today.
"He's doing well," Reich said of Castonzo. "He is not 100 percent, but he continues to make progress. He's playing good. I don't feel like it is really hampering him that much. He is playing well."
» Buckner, meanwhile, suffered an ankle injury in practice last Thursday, putting his status for last Sunday's game against the Texans in serious doubt.
But Reich said Buckner made significant progress each day leading up to the game, and after a promising pregame workout, he got the clearance to play a bit more of a limited role.
Buckner clearly made the most of that role; he had three sacks, four quarterback hits and a forced fumble and today was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
"Obviously, an incredible performance – an incredible year, but an incredible performance, especially coming off the injury on Thursday when Friday we thought there was pretty much no way he was going to play, Then Saturday it was like, 'Maybe there is a slim chance he plays,'" Reich said of Buckner. "Hats off to him – a great individual effort and a well-deserved honor.
In regards to Buckner's ankle, Reich said he's "making progress."
"Obviously, had some soreness and swelling after the game," Reich said. "So we just want to be safe and try to get him back on track so he won't practice today."