INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich announced today that tight end Jack Doyle has been ruled out of Sunday's Week 2 contest against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Five other Colts players — safety Julian Blackmon, defensive end Justin Houston, wide receiver Zach Pascal, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and cornerback Isaiah Rodgers — have been ruled questionable for the game.
Reich said safety Blackmon, who was inactive in last week's 2020 opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars as he works his way back from December knee injury, was limited again in practice this week, but is "making good progress" and still has a shot at playing Sunday against the Vikings.
Pittman Jr., meanwhile, had an "incident" with his toe in Thursday's practice, Reich said; the team is using the next 48 hours to make a full evaluation on his status for Sunday.
Houston (calf), meanwhile, told reporters he thinks he should be good to go by Sunday.
» Doyle (ankle/knee) initially appeared on the injury report on Wednesday, and has not participated in practice all week. The two-time Pro Bowler was never reported to have any injuries throughout the Colts' Week 1 contest last Sunday against the Jaguars, when he played 54 offensive snaps and finished with three receptions for 49 yards, including a career-best 28-yard reception from Philip Rivers on a 4th-and-1 play early in the third quarter. Doyle was one of two active tight ends in that game, joining Mo Alie-Cox, as the Colts currently have just three total tight ends on their active roster; veteran Trey Burton, who signed a one-year free agent deal with the team this offseason, entered the season on injured reserve with a calf injury, and the earliest he can return is Indy's Week 4 contest against the Chicago Bears, so the team early last week claimed undrafted rookie tight end Noah Togiai off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was inactive against the Jaguars. The Colts currently have two other tight ends — undrafted rookies Farrod Green and Charlie Taumoepeau — on their practice squad, if needed.
» Blackmon entered training camp on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list as he worked his way back from December knee surgery necessitated after suffering a torn ACL during his final collegiate game at Utah. A third-round pick of the Colts in this year's NFL Draft, Blackmon was able to be removed from NFI on Aug. 31 and make his practice debut that day, though defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said he'd be slowly brought into the mix at safety, and he's been a limited participant in practice the last two weeks, and he was inactive last Sunday in the Colts' 2020 opener against the Jaguars. If Blackmon is still unable to go this Sunday against the Vikings, the Colts have plenty of depth at the position behind starters Malik Hooker and Khari Willis, including George Odum and Tavon Wilson.
» Houston initially appeared on the injury report this week on Thursday, when he did not practice with a calf issue. The veteran edge rusher played 34 defensive snaps last Sunday in the Colts' 2020 opener against the Jaguars, finishing with two tackles (one for a loss) with his first sack of the season and a quarterback hit. If Houston is limited or can't play in this Sunday's Week 2 contest against the Vikings, look for Al-Quadin Muhammad or Ben Banogu to see added reps. The Colts also can utilize Tyquan Lewis off the edge if needed.
» Pascal initially appeared on the injury report this week on Wednesday, when he sat out with an ankle injury; he was able to be upgraded to limited status by Thursday's practice, and was a full participant on Friday. Pascal was never reported to have any injuries throughout the Colts' 2020 opener last Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, when he played 46 snaps on offense and seven on special teams, and finished with two receptions for 18 yards. If Pascal is limited or unable to play this Sunday against the Vikings, look for added opportunities for Ashton Dulin, Daurice Fountain and, depending on his status, Michael Pittman Jr. at the wide receiver position. The Colts also have undrafted rookie wide receiver DeMichael Harris on their practice squad, if needed.
» Pittman Jr. initially appeared on the injury report this week on Thursday, when he was limited with a toe issue; he did not practice on Friday. The Colts' 2020 second-round (34th-overall) pick made his NFL Debut last Sunday against the Jaguars, logging 39 offensive and three special teams snaps in all and finishing with two receptions for 10 yards. If Pittman Jr. is limited or unable to play this Sunday against the Vikings, look for added opportunities for Ashton Dulin and Daurice Fountain at the wide receiver position. The Colts also have undrafted rookie wide receiver DeMichael Harris on their practice squad, if needed.
» Rodgers initially appeared on the injury report on Thursday, when he sat out practice with an ankle issue; he was a full participant on Friday. The Colts' 2020 sixth-round (211th-overall) pick made his NFL Debut last Sunday against the Jaguars, logging nine snaps, all on special teams, lining up twice each with the kick and punt return units, and also playing five snaps on the field goal/extra point block unit; he officially hauled in one punt, on which he called a fair catch. If Rodgers is limited or can't play Sunday against the Vikings, look for Nyheim Hines, Ashton Dulin, Parris Campbell or T.J. Carrie to be among those getting the team's kick return opportunities.
Here is Friday's practice report, with the players' designation for Sunday's game (if applicable):
» DNP: DT/DE Denico Autry (rest); T Anthony Castonzo (rest); TE Jack Doyle (ankle/knee; out); WR T.Y. Hilton (rest); DE Justin Houston (calf; questionable); WR Michael Pittman Jr. (toe; questionable)
» Limited: S Julian Blackmon (knee; questionable)
» Full: S Malik Hooker (illness); WR Zach Pascal (ankle; questionable); CB Isaiah Rodgers (ankle; questionable)