INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts will be without at least four players — three on offense, one on defense — on Sunday when they take the field for their Week 14 matchup against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
The status of another key offensive player remains a little bit more up in the air, however.
Head coach Frank Reich on Friday said tight end Mo Alie-Cox, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, center Ryan Kelly and safety Mike Mitchell have all been ruled out against the Texans. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, meanwhile, will be more of a gametime decision.
» Alie-Cox suffered a calf injury in practice two weeks ago and has not been on the field since, missing the team’s last two games against the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The first-year tight end had really been taking off in recent weeks, catching his first two-career touchdowns Weeks 8 and 10. On the season, Alie-Cox — a college basketball player at VCU who prior to last year hadn’t played organized football since his freshman year in high school — has six receptions for 112 yards and two scores.
» Inman, who was signed by the Colts as a free agent on Oct. 16, will be missing his first game of the season after having played in six games total with four starts. Inman had not practiced all week with a shoulder injury. The fifth-year veteran has been an instant contributor since arriving midseason, catching 19 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown.
» Kelly, suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ Week 11 victory over the Tennessee Titans, and hasn’t been able to return to the game or practice field since, also missing the Dolphins and Jaguars games. Reich has indicated the team is taking more of a day-to-day approach with Kelly’s injury. Evan Boehm is set to earn his third straight start at center in his place on Sunday.
» Mitchell exited last Sunday’s game with a calf injury and wasn’t able to practice all week. Also a key midseason veteran acquisition — he was signed as a free agent on Oct. 9 — Mitchell has played in six games with three starts so far this season, and has logged 24 total tackles, one interception, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week back in Week 7 for his standout performance in Indy’s win over the Buffalo Bills in which he logged seven tackles, a forced fumble that was recovered by linebacker Darius Leonard and then an interception.
» Hilton missed the first two days of practice this week with a shoulder injury, but was able to return on Friday. Reich said he’s “feeling somewhat optimistic” about Hilton’s chances to play on Sunday, and said he’d likely be more of a gametime decision. The seventh-year wide receiver has put in another solid season in 2018, catching 53 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns.
Another key player, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, was also resting during Friday’s practice as he deals with “a little bit of a knee issue,” Reich said.
Others who weren’t seen early during the portion of Friday’s practice available to the media: defensive tackle/end Denico Autry, safety Malik Hooker, safety Clayton Geathers and linebacker Anthony Walker.
Here is Friday's practice report, with their designation for Sunday's game (if applicable):
» DNP: TE Mo Alie-Cox (calf; out); DT/DE Denico Autry (back; questionable); T Anthony Castonzo (knee); S Clayton Geathers (knee); S Malik Hooker (hip); WR Dontrelle Inman (shoulder; out); C Ryan Kelly (knee; out); S Mike Mitchell (calf; out); LB Anthony Walker (knee)
» Limited: WR T.Y. Hilton (shoulder; questionable); DT Margus Hunt (knee; questionable); CB Chris Milton (hamstring; questionable); TE Erik Swoope (knee)
» Full: TE Eric Ebron (back/illness); CB Nate Hairston (ankle; questionable); WR Chester Rogers (groin)