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Hooker Among Five Ruled Out Against Raiders; Vinatieri, Doyle Likely To Play

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have gotten good use out of the “next man up” mentality so far this season, and they’ll need it once again on Sunday.

Head coach Frank Reich today said five players — three on offense and two on defense — have been ruled out of Sunday’s Week 8 matchup against the Oakland Raiders.

Those who will likely be questionable heading into the game, meanwhile, are just as intriguing as those who won’t be able to play.

The players who are out include wide receiver Ryan Grant, safety Malik Hooker, tight end Erik Swoope, running back Robert Turbin and defensive tackle Jihad Ward.

Running back Marlon Mack, kicker Adam Vinatieri, tight end Jack Doyle and safety Clayton Geathers, meanwhile, could all be gametime decisions.

» Grant is missing his second straight game after suffering an ankle injury Week 6 against the New York Jets. Prior to that game, Grant was tied for fourth in the NFL in consecutive games played among active wide receivers (70). The fifth-year receiver out of Tulane has 26 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown on the year.

» Hooker will be missing his first game of the season as he deals with a hip injury suffered last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. In seven starts this year, the second-year Ohio State product has 27 tackles (18 solo), one interception and two passes defensed. With Hooker out, look for the likes of Mike Mitchell (the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week), Corey Moore or George Odum to step up at the safety position against the Raiders.

» Swoope suffered a knee injury during last week’s game against the Bills — he had just caught a 17-yard touchdown pass — and didn’t return. In five games with two starts so far this season, Swoope has been a dependable red zone target for quarterback Andrew Luck, and has caught seven passes for 83 yards and three touchdowns.

» Turbin will miss his second straight game as he deals with a shoulder injury he suffered two weeks ago on a 3rd-and-1 rushing attempt against the Jets. Suspended the first four games of the regular season, the seventh-year veteran Turbin has played in two games so far this season and has four rushing attempts for 10 yards, and one reception for three yards.

» Ward suffered an ankle injury last Sunday against the Bills, which led to him being carted off the field. The former Raider has been enjoying a career year so far in 2018 in Indy, as he already has a career high with 3.0 sacks and three tackles for loss to go along with four total tackles and six quarterback hits.

What about Mack, Vinatieri, Doyle?

While not ruled out on Friday, there are a few key players whose status for Sunday’s game still remains up in the air.

Mack — who is coming off a career-best performance in last week’s win over the Bills — missed two practices this week with an ankle injury, and was able to return to the practice field on Friday.

Mack’s 19 rushing attempts for 126 yards against the Bills last Sunday were both single-game career highs, while he scored a touchdown each on the ground and through the air in the Colts’ 37-5 victory.

Vinatieri, meanwhile, re-aggravated a right groin injury during his first extra-point attempt against the Bills, leading to two missed extra-point attempts in a game for the first time in his career — though he did convert another field goal and two extra point tries in the game.

Vinatieri did not practice Wednesday, but was able to test out the groin injury on Thursday and Friday, and Reich said today that Vinatieri will likely will be able to go against the Raiders on Sunday. He sits just five points shy of the NFL's all-time points scored record.

Another key offensive weapon could be making his return on Sunday after missing several weeks.

Doyle, who has missed five games with a hip injury, is on track to play against the Raiders, Reich said today.

Doyle suffered, and played through, the injury Week 2 against the Washington Redskins, and was just able to get back to practice for the first time on Wednesday. Eric Ebron has stepped up in Doyle’s absence, as he ranks sixth among NFL tight ends in receiving yards (357), tied for third among tight ends in receptions (33) and second in the NFL and first among tight ends in touchdown catches (6).

Geathers, meanwhile, could play on Sunday for the first time since suffering a neck injury and a concussion Week 5 against the New England Patriots. Geathers had shed the concussion designation on this week’s injury report; he has been able to be a full participant in some practices the past couple weeks, while he has been held out of others.

Reich has said the team will continue to monitor Geathers’ status and remain cautious considering the fact he has had a prior neck injury, although he was not ruled out for Sunday’s game today, which could be considered a positive sign.

Injury report

Here is Friday's practice report, with their designation for Sunday's game (if applicable):

» DNP: S Clayton Geathers (neck; questionable); WR Ryan Grant (ankle; out); S Malik Hooker (hip; out); LB Darius Leonard (ankle); TE Erik Swoope (knee; out); RB Robert Turbin (shoulder; out); DT Jihad Ward (ankle; out; was later placed on IR)

» Limited: WR Zach Pascal (head; questionable)

» Full: DT/DE Denico Autry (ankle); TE Jack Doyle (hip); WR Dontrelle Inman (neck); RB Marlon Mack (ankle; questionable); CB Arthur Maulet (hip); DE Jabaal Sheard (abdomen; questionable); K Adam Vinatieri (right groin; questionable)

— Pascal appearing on the injury report on Friday and being questionable for Sunday creates the possibility of the team needing a new kick returner against the Raiders if he can't go. Chester Rogers is currently listed as the team's No. 2 kickoff returner on its unofficial depth chart.

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