Donte Moncrief Returns To Practice, Expects To Play Sunday

Intro: After a week of not so great injury news, Wednesday brought the opposite to the Colts. What was the news of the day at the Colts’ first practice of Chiefs’ week?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck's weapons could receive a major boost in Week Eight.

At Wednesday's practice a blue No. 10 jersey was spotted, marking the return of Donte Moncrief to the field for the first time since mid-September.

Here is the Wednesday notebook with Chuck Pagano looking ahead to the Chiefs and why Moncrief thinks he is ready for Sunday:

INJURY NOTES

  • TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle): It's a week-to-week injury for Allen. Allen remains out.
  • DE-Henry Anderson (knee): After missing last week, Anderson returned to practice on Wednesday.
  • WR-Jacoby Brissett (hamstring): We saw Dorsett get back to practice on Wednesday after he joined Moncrief on the sideline in Week Seven.
  • DT-Zach Kerr (ankle): Kerr was practicing on Wednesday after missing the previous two weeks.
  • OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle): It's a week-to-week injury for the undrafted outside linebacker who left the Texans' loss early last week. Maggitt remains out.
  • G-Jack Mewhort (tricep): Mewhort was back to practice on Wednesday. That's a very good sign for a quick healer who missed last week's win over the Titans.
  • WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder): In his sixth week of recovery, Moncrief was back to work on Wednesday. The Moncrief update is below.
  • WR-Chester Rogers (hamstring, foot): The team's new punt returner missed Wednesday's practice.

Donte Moncrief on returning to work:

"Being out, I hated watching the games.

"Now that I'm back out there, I'm ready to go out and have fun."


Bowen's Analysis: For the first time since Week Two, a Colts' practice included Donte Moncrief. It also had Moncrief in a blue jersey (as opposed to a red "non contact" jersey). It's the contact part that Moncrief won't truly get until a game. Moncrief said on Wednesday that it would be a "surprise" if he wasn't playing this week versus the Chiefs.

Watching a stone faced Moncrief in the Wembley Stadium locker room after the loss in London offered a look into just how much him sitting out (and not being able to help his team) has impacted the third-year receiver. This is a guy very, very passionate about the game of football. It's why he attended practice throughout his recovery period and still made road game trips, even the one to London. Moncrief said on Wednesday he feels good conditioning wise and that's where the injury falling in the upper body helps him regain his legs quickly.Chuck Pagano on the amount of momentum that can come if the Colts start stringing wins together:

"Tons."

Bowen's Analysis: The Colts aren't facing a virtual "must-win" game this weekend like they did in Weeks 3, 5 and 7. While the Colts have handled those situations just fine, they have to play with similar desperation when they aren't in those types of games. It's time to string wins together and start making a serious ascent to the top of the AFC South.

In a way, Pagano has an opponent this weekend he can use as a great example for his own squad. The Chiefs started last season 1-5 before winning 10 in a row. Kansas City has carried that into 2016 with a 4-2 start. Over the next eight weeks, the Colts will play six teams currently in the playoffs. It's time for the Colts to seize those quality chances in an effort to climb over .500.

Chuck Pagano on getting Jack Mewhort back to practice and how that will shift things up front:

"We will see where Jack (Mewhort) is and how much work he gets.

"We are going to have to work all of those guys in all the different spots. Between Denzelle (Good), he was a little banged up from the game but he is okay, Joe (Reitz) played well, so we have a lot of options and we will work them all."


Bowen's Analysis: Another week and more decisions for Joe Philbin and Chuck Pagano up front. Starting left guard Jack Mewhort (tricep) is back, which gives the Colts a full group of trench guys for Philbin.

With Mewhort back, the Colts could go back to their normal starting lineup with Joe Haeg at right tackle and Good at right guard. Joe Reitz, who has been a reserve as of late when the entire unit has been healthy, helped the Colts protect Andrew Luck much better on Sunday in Nashville. We will see if this line can build off the extra time it has provided Luck the past two weeks.

INJURY REPORT

Here is Wednesday's injury report:

-DNP: S-Mike Adams (rest), TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle), CB-Vontae Davis (rest), RB-Frank Gore (rest), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest), WR-Chester Rogers (hamstring, foot).

-LIMITED: DE-Henry Anderson (knee), WR-Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), DT-Zach Kerr (ankle), G-Jack Mewhort (tricep), WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder), OT-Joe Reitz (back).

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