INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will have some important injuries to watch at Friday's final practice of the week.
In Week Eight, the Colts will play their third AFC West game of the season. That division has had a very strong start to 2016 with three teams currently in the playoffs.
Here is the Thursday notebook with offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino meeting the media:
- TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle): It's a week-to-week injury for Allen. Allen remains out.
- DE-Henry Anderson (knee): After missing last week, Anderson returned to practice on Wednesday, but sat out Thursday's session.
- WR-Jacoby Brissett (hamstring): We saw Dorsett progress to a full participant at Thursday's practice.
- DT-Zach Kerr (ankle): Kerr was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday.
- OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle): It's a week-to-week injury for the undrafted outside linebacker who left the Texans' loss early two weeks ago. Maggitt remains out.
- G-Jack Mewhort (tricep): Mewhort was back to practice on Wednesday, but did not practice on Thursday. This will probably be the biggest injury to watch at Friday's final practice of the week.
- WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder): In his sixth week of recovery, Moncrief is back to work and has been limited in practice this week.
- WR-Chester Rogers (hamstring, foot): The team's new punt returner has missed the first two days of practice this week.
Rob Chudzinski on the play of Andrew Luck in 2016:
"He's making good, quick decisions.
"I've seen a lot of improvement in some of his fundaments, things we identified early on."
Bowen's Analysis: Chud has mentioned it before but it's worth repeating. Andrew Luck is playing at this level in a new offense this season. Chud said it's completely different how the Colts are reading things from an offensive standpoint. Fundamentally, Chud said Luck's footwork at the top of his pass drops have really improved.
In looking at the Chiefs, Chud said their defensive front is very physical. Kansas City will not have All-Pro rusher Justin Houston this weekend. Houston is still working his way back from an ACL injury suffered during last year's postseason.Rob Chudzinski on the route running of T.Y. Hilton:
"It starts with the talent, but T.Y. has put in an incredible amount of time and effort and diligence into improving his route running."
Bowen's Analysis: This is why Hilton has himself in the top five of catches and yards this season. Chud said in the 12 months he's been offensive coordinator, he's watched Hilton paying more and more attention to becoming a complete receiver via precise route running leading to even better timing with Andrew Luck. Chud said you never see Hilton tipping off defenders with his route running by displaying any "turn signals" that let DBs know which route is coming.
Chud was of course asked on Thursday about the return of Donte Moncrief. While Chud would not commit to how much Moncrief will play on Sunday (if at all), the offensive coordinator knows what No. 10 brings. Moncrief excels in the "short game" and can make plays when covered, better than most receivers. If Moncrief can give it a go on Sunday, it would come at a pretty good time because Chud believes the Chiefs have one of the better defensive back groups in the league.
Ted Monachino on the three-penalty drive his defense had against the Titans:
"By the end of it, I was ready for another lunch."
Bowen's Analysis: We certainly know one teaching point that Monachino had with his defensive unit this week. The three-penalty drive that saw several long distance conversions from the Titans was largely self-inflicted, according to the Colts defensive coordinator. The elimination of those remains something that must change for the defense.
This weekend Monachino's defense will see a Chiefs' offense that protects the ball well and a quarterback in Alex Smith who doesn't hold onto the pigskin for very long. The Chiefs' skill guys might not have the most headline names, but they do have some explosive receivers to complement Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce.**
Here is Thursday's injury report:
-DNP: TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle), DE-Henry Anderson (knee), WR-T.Y. Hilton (hip), ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (rest), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), OLB-Curt Maggitt (ankle), G-Jack Mewhort (tricep), WR-Chester Rogers (hamstring, foot)
-LIMITED: Mike Adams (shin), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder, ankle), WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder)
-FULL: CB-Vontae Davis (rest), WR-Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), RB-Frank Gore (rest), DT-Zach Kerr (ankle), Robert Mathis (rest), OT-Joe Reitz (back)