INDIANAPOLIS – After a pretty healthy start to 2016, the Colts offense is dealing with some new faces at practice this week.
Injuries have hit the skill positions and Wednesday we also saw durable starting left guard Jack Mewhort miss the first practice of the week.
Here is the Wednesday notebook with a look at the injury ramifications as the Colts prepare for a vital Week Seven matchup on Sunday in Nashville.
- TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle): It's a week-to-week injury for Allen. The team's starting tight end hobbled into the locker room on crutches Wednesday to meet the media.
- DE-Henry Anderson (knee): A knee injury on Sunday didn't force Anderson out of the game. However, he's now going to miss some time because of it. This is not the same knee that Anderson tore his ACL in last season.
- CB-Darius Butler (calf, hamstring): While his hand is taped up due to a fractured finger, the veteran nickel corner did get banged up late in Sunday's loss. Butler did not practice on Wednesday.
- WR-Jacoby Brissett (foot, hamstring): It's a day-to-day timetable for Dorsett. The speedy receiver did not practice on Wednesday and left Sunday's game early due to the hamstring injury.
- S-T.J. Green (knee): We saw Green get hurt late in Sunday's game, but the rookie safety did return to action. Green did not practice on Wednesday.
- DT-Zach Kerr (ankle): Chuck Pagano was hoping Kerr would do some individual work at Wednesday's practice. But Kerr did not practice.
- OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle): It's a week-to-week injury for the undrafted outside linebacker who left Sunday's game early.
- G-Jack Mewhort (tricep): Mewhort played the entire game on Sunday, but missed Wednesday's practice.
- WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder): Moncrief is still not practicing. He's now five weeks into a recovery that was expected to keep him out four-to-six weeks.
- CB-Patrick Robinson (hip): After missing last week, Robinson was a full participant at Wednesday's practice.
Chuck Pagano on the Titans run game:
"The run game is where it all starts. They've got one of the best 1-2 punches in the league right now.
"It's virtually impossible (to replicate what they do)."
Bowen's Analysis: One of the most unique preparations of any in the NFL is what the Colts are facing this week. With the dual-threat ability of Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Titans look like a bit of a college football team with how they implement the read-option in having the league's third-ranked rushing attack. There are variations of what Mariota can do with the ball in his hands.
With a talented offensive line, the Titans have backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry to go with the athletic Mariota at quarterback. Gap responsibility and discipline within the defensive scheme is an absolute must this week for the Colts. The unit will see some changes up front with Henry Anderson likely out and Zach Kerr still working his way back from an ankle injury.Chuck Pagano on the injuries to the skill positions:
"It's how this week is. Everybody has injuries so guys have to step up."
Bowen's Analysis: This is the most banged up the offense has been all season long. The skill positions have been hit particularly hard with TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle) week-to-week, WR-Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) day-to-day and WR/KR-Quan Bray (fractured ankle) now on injured reserve.
With the injury to Allen, that means more reps coming for Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox. At receiver, things are a bit more complicated. If Dorsett has to miss this week, look for undrafted receiver Chester Rogers to absorb a bigger role. Also at receiver, the Colts have Tevaun Smith and Devin Street, but neither has played an NFL snap this season. Lastly, with Bray on injured reserve, look for Jordan Todman at kick returner and Rogers at punt returner. Josh Ferguson could also factor in as a returner.
Andrew Luck on the state of things at 2-4:
"A wake-up call was long ago, if anybody needed a wake-up call."
Bowen's Analysis: Luck might feel like he's back in Anderson at practice this week. The quarterback is working with guys that don't typically get a bunch of first-team run. Those practice reps will likely become games reps on Sunday.
In a way, what Luck is facing this week is similar to what he had to deal with in 2013 after Reggie Wayne tore his ACL. The first game after Wayne's season-ending injury saw the Colts mount a comeback victory in Houston. Even last year the Colts were in a comparable situation. Losing a road primetime game in Carolina, the Colts put together their best offensive performance of 2015 in a win over the Broncos. Adversity is back for Luck and the offense. Can the unit deliver again?
Here is Wednesday's injury report:
-DNP: S-Mike Adams (rest), TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle), DE-Henry Anderson (knee), CB-Darius Butler (calf, hamstring), CB-Vontae Davis (rest), WR-Phillip Dorsett (foot, hamstring), RB-Frank Gore (rest), T.J. Green (knee), DT-Zach Kerr (ankle), DE-Kendall Langford (rest), OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest), G-Jack Mewhort (tricep), WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder)
-LIMITED: C/G-Jonotthan Harrison (illness), WR-T.Y. Hilton (hip)
*-FULL: QB-Andrew Luck (ankle), CB-Patrick Robinson (hip)
Late on Wednesday, the Colts claimed outside linebacker Lavar Edwards off waivers and waived cornerback Darryl Morris.
Edwards, 6-4, 275 pounds, played in five games for the Carolina Panthers this season before being waived on October 18. He has seen action in 17 career NFL games (one start) and tallied 17 tackles (11 solo), 1.0 sack and two passes defensed in his time with the Panthers (2016), Chicago Bears (2015), Dallas Cowboys (2014) and Tennessee Titans (2013). Edwards was originally selected by the Titans in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft out of LSU.