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Indianapolis Colts

Donte Moncrief's Return Leading To More Red-Zone Success

Intro: The biggest receiver on the Colts’ roster is back healthy and finding the end zone. What has the return of Moncrief done for Andrew Luck and the offense?


INDIANAPOLIS – Two games. Two red-zone touchdowns.

Welcome back, Donte Moncrief.

The return of Moncrief to the lineup two weeks ago has seen the 6-2, 222-pound wideout snag a pair of red-zone touchdowns.

It's no secret that the size of Moncrief is a major asset when the field shrinks.

Something the Colts missed since the Week Two of 2016 has now returned to an offense that could be on the verge of becoming the productive unit many thought would develop this season.

The re-addition of Moncrief is a major, major reason why.

"Moncrief is a big-bodied guy who is very fast, athletic and has good hands," Colts' wide receivers coach Lee Hull says. "He brings another dynamic to us because obviously our other receivers are smaller in stature so he gives us that big physical presence that we have been looking for."

The absence of Moncrief for nearly six games hindered what the Colts could do in their passing game.

"It (hurt) a lot because now we (had) to change what we do and the type of plays that we ran because he's different," Hull said of the injury to Moncrief.

"As you saw (against Green Bay) he caught a fade in the end zone so that gives us a chance. He is a big-time, red-zone threat for us. We had to change some things around and some of the younger guys came in and did a good job but they just have different skill sets than he does."

Through nine weeks, the Colts currently rank third in the NFL in red-zone offense, converting nearly 70 percent of their opportunities inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

In the win over the Packers, the Colts were 3-of-4 in those chances.

It was a game T.Y. Hilton called "probably the most fun" of his career.

Play caller Rob Chudzinski plucked out pieces all over his call sheet and involved Moncrief in a couple of ways.

The back-shoulder touchdown at the end of the first half sent the visitors into intermission leading by 14.

Then in the fourth quarter, with Chud trying to the put the Packers away, Moncrief beat man coverage for a 39-yard gain into Packers' territory.

All the ingredients Andrew Luck thought he would have in 2016 was finally back together.

That's fun.

"(Moncrief's) separation from a defensive back is amazing," Hilton says of his locker mate.

"He opens himself up for the back shoulder or whether it's going over the top, he can do all the things and he's a great talent to have."

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