INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts open up the 2019 season Sunday on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers.
And, by most accounts, the Colts will be bringing with them a healthy bunch to the West Coast.
Head coach Frank Reich announced today that just two players — defensive end Jabaal Sheard and running back Jonathan Williams — have been ruled out of Sunday's game.
Two other players — defensive end Kemoko Turay and running back Jordan Wilkins — are being listed as questionable against Los Angeles.
» Sheard has not been able to take part in on-field work since the Colts' first training camp practice on July 25 after experiencing some "soreness and swelling" in his knee, according to Reich. Sheard eventually underwent a minor procedure, and he has been working his way back since. The Colts decided against placing Sheard on injured reserve to open the regular season, which would've resulted in him missing at least the first eight weeks, but he did not participate in any practices this week leading up to the Chargers game.
» Williams suffered a rib injury Aug. 17 in the Colts' second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, and hasn't been able to return since. At the time Williams was making a strong push to be the team's third running back, with 11 rushing attempts for 39 yards and five receptions for 33 yards, as well as a strong showing in pass protection, in two preseason games.
» Turay was just initially listed with a neck injury during Thursday's practice, when he was listed as a limited participant, and was not seen participating during the early portion of Friday's practice that was available to be seen by reporters. The second-year defensive end turned in a quality preseason performance for the Colts, collecting 2.0 sacks in three games, and had 4.0 sacks as a rookie last season.
» Wilkins missed all four preseason games with an ankle injury, and was able to return to practice on Sunday. The second-year running back wore a red no-contact jersey on Wednesday and Thursday, but said he expected to be a full participant by Friday. Wilkins could be the Colts' third running back on Sunday vs. the Chargers, which is a role he did well with last year as a rookie, when he ran for 336 yards on 60 rushing attempts, for a robust 5.6 yards-per-carry average, with one touchdown.
No red jerseys for Wilkins, Moore II
Two players who have been battling injuries of late — Wilkins and cornerback Kenny Moore II — both had been wearing red no-contact jerseys the first two days of practice this week, but were back in their normal practice jerseys on Friday.
While Wilkins is being listed as questionable on Sunday, Moore II has no game status, according to Reich, which means he should be good to go for the opener.
Moore II suffered a thumb injury two weeks ago jamming a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage, but didn't anticipate missing much time — if any — once the regular season arrived.
The third-year Valdosta State product last year developed into one of the top slot cornerbacks in the NFL, finishing with 76 tackles (four for a loss) with 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, 11 passes defensed and a forced fumble, while adding three more sacks during Indy's two postseason contests.
Here is Friday's practice report, with their designation for Sunday's game (if applicable):
» DNP: Tackle Anthony Castonzo (not injury related; rest); wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (not injury related; rest); defensive end Justin Houston (not injury related; rest); defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee; out); defensive end Kemoko Turay (neck; questionable); running back Jonathan Williams (rib; out).
» Limited: N/A
» Full: Wide receiver Devin Funchess (back); safety Clayton Geathers (not injury related); cornerback Kenny Moore II (thumb); running back Jordan Wilkins (ankle; questionable).