Braden Smith did not participate in Wednesday's practice at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, but head coach Frank Reich said he's "optimistic" the Colts' right tackle will be okay ahead of Sunday's AFC South clash against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Reich added he's also optimistic on the potential availability of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice as he goes through the concussion protocol.
Additionally, cornerback T.J. Carrie – who's on injured reserve – was designated to return to practice and participated on Wednesday. The Colts now have a three-week window in which Carrie can be activated.
"We'll evaluate him during the week," Reich said. "I think the plan right now is to get him two days of work this week, practice Wednesday and Friday and then see where he's at."
Wednesday's full practice report
Praise for Pryor
While Reich is optimistic Smith can play on Sunday, if he can't, the Colts have plenty of confidence in Matt Pryor, who started at right tackle in Weeks 5-7 and rotated in with Julién Davenport in Weeks 2-4. Pryor wasn't charged with allowing a sack in Weeks 5-7 or after stepping in for Smith in Week 9 – a span of 112 pass blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus.
The Colts acquired Pryor from the Eagles on roster cut-down day in August as part of a trade that swapped sixth and seventh-round picks with Philadelphia. Between his strong play and the emergence of Chris Reed on the interior, the Colts are pushing into the second half of the 2021 season confident in their offensive line depth.
"(Pryor's) great," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "Even just coming in here, he's just kind of a go-with-the-flow-type guy like, hey, whatever you need me to do, I'll do. He's been great. He's big as can be out there. He's a big dude. Big, strong, physical presence that can move some bodies in both the run game and in pass protection. He's been great filling in when needed and where needed. He's done an awesome job."
A kicking update
Michael Badgley has not missed on his four field goal and 17 PAT tries since joining the Colts when Rodrigo Blankenship (hip) landed on injured reserve after Week 5. Badgley's success has been important for the Colts, then, in allowing them to be patient with Blankenship as he works his way back to full strength.
"As far as (if it's Badgley's) job to lose, you have a guy who hasn't missed and why not ride it out? We really haven't had that full-blown discussion at this point," Reich said. "It really has been by in large part based on Rod is continuing to get back and get better, but we've been afforded the luxury of not having to push it because of how Badgley is kicking."