INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Thursday held their second of three days of on-field preparations for Sunday's Week 11 contest against the Green Bay Packers. What were some of the top takeaways on the day?
Here is the Colts' Thursday injury report:
The Colts were missing four defensive linemen at Thursday's practice: defensive tackle/end Denico Autry was out with an illness, while defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and defensive tackle Grover Stewart all had "not injury related" designations.
So what exactly is going on along the defensive line for the Colts? Did Lewis, Muhammad and/or Stewart miss practice out of an abundance of caution? What is their status for Sunday's game against the Packers?
All reasonable questions, but Colts head coach Frank Reich doesn't typically talk to the media on Thursdays, so we'll see if he can add some context on Friday, when he usually announces who's been ruled out of the upcoming game.
The Colts have four other available defensive linemen on their active roster in starters Justin Houston and DeForest Buckner, as well as reserves Ben Banogu and Taylor Stallworth. The team also has four defensive linemen on its practice squad if needed: Cassius Marsh, Kameron Cline, Chris Williams and Rob Windsor.
Back in action
While there are certainly some unknowns along the defensive line, the Colts did have some promising news elsewhere on Thursday.
Tight end Jack Doyle, who suffered a concussion just before halftime of Indy's Week 9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and ended up missing last Thursday night's win over the Tennessee Titans, made his return to the practice field today, and was listed as a full participant.
Cornerback Kenny Moore II and safety Khari Willis, both of whom missed Wednesday's practice with ribs injuries, also returned on Thursday. Moore II was a limited participant, while Willis was a full participant.
Defensive end Kemoko Turay (ankle), who was activated off the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list earlier this week, was limited for a second straight day on Thursday; Turay is hoping to make his 2020 debut on Sunday against the Packers.
New to the practice report on Thursday outside of the defensive linemen were tight end Noah Togiai (did not practice; knee) and tackle Braden Smith (limited; thumb).
Ready to change Rodgers' mind
Darius Leonard doesn't need much to feel slighted — this much we've learned about the South Carolina State product through his first three NFL seasons.
That being said, Leonard wants to change a future Hall of Fame quarterback's mind on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
After Green Bay's 34-17 Week 9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 5, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was overheard telling the 49ers' Fred Warner, "I'm happy for you man; I really mean that. … Unfortunately, name recognition means too much. Ain't nobody better. There really isn't. You're the best and everybody knows it. The film don't lie. You should be All-Pro."
Leonard said he "saw it as soon as he said it."
"You hear things like that, it just gives you that extra motivation to go out and play," Leonard said. "I've been looking forward to this game ever since he said it. He has been in the league for a long time, and for him to say that about Fred Warner – they play him twice a year, so my first time I want to leave a mark and hopefully change his mind about what he said about that."
Rodgers certainly is entitled to his opinion — and Warner, to his point, has definitely been fantastic and one of the more underrated defensive players in the NFL in recent years.
But is there a chance Rodgers has discounted Leonard and needs to double-check his thoughts on the matter?
Here are the career numbers for Leonard and Warner, both of whom entered the NFL in 2018:
Leonard: 35 games played, 344 total tackles (23 for a loss) with 13.0 sacks, 15 quarterback hits, seven interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 17 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries
Warner: 42 games played, 321 total tackles (14 for a loss) with 3.0 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 18 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery
Leonard, the 2018 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was named First-Team All-Pro in 2018, as well as selected Second-Team All-Pro and named to his first Pro Bowl in 2019. Warner, meanwhile, has no Pro Bowl or All-Pro selections.