INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief on Monday afternoon.
Head coach Frank Reich confirmed that the team’s starting quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, did, indeed, suffer a sprained MCL in Sunday’s Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but an MRI on Monday indicated no major damage.
The news on Brissett’s knee was one of a few injury-related updates from Reich on Monday, who said wide receiver Parris Campbell fractured his hand on Sunday and is expected to miss some time, while the team is “cautiously optimistic” about a neck injury that knocked starting center Ryan Kelly out of the game against the Steelers.
Reich said the team is “encouraged” about Brissett’s MRI results, but added it’s way too early in the week to determine whether he’ll be able to play Sunday in the Colts’ Week 10 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
The team will wait until Wednesday, the first day of practice this week, to start gauging whether Brissett could potentially return, or whether backup Brian Hoyer could get his first start of the season.
“We’re just going to have to wait until Wednesday to see how it feels,” Reich said of Brissett’s knee. “I mean, it’s one thing to come in today after the injury and feel a little (better); I think in his mind he felt a little bit better than he expected to feel today, but that’s still a far cry from being able to play the game.”
Reich told Colts.com’s Matt Taylor on Monday that Brissett is “optimistic,” so “we’ll be optimistic, but we’re going to see how it has to go during the week.”
Brissett suffered the injury early in the second quarter of Sunday’s game when he was rolled up on by left guard Quenton Nelson, who was pushed into the quarterback’s left leg by a Steelers defender. Brissett was able to jog off the field under his own power, but after an evaluation on the sideline, the team elected to go with Hoyer for the rest of the game.
Hoyer completed 17-of-26 passes (65.4 percent) for 168 yards with three touchdowns to one interception in his first action of the season for the Colts (5-3), who fell to the host Steelers, 26-24.
Reich confirmed that if Hoyer does need to start against the Dolphins that practice squad quarterback Chad Kelly would likely be elevated to the active roster.
More injury news
Wide receiver Parris Campbell underwent a procedure on Monday for a fractured hand suffered during Sunday’s game, Reich told reporters in his weekly conference call.
The second-year head coach didn’t have an immediate timetable for Campbell’s return, but did not believe Campbell would be placed on injured reserve.
“We’ll see how this progresses, how the procedure (goes) and how quickly he heals, and then hopefully can get him back,” Reich said.
Campbell suffered the injury midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game; he caught a two-yard pass from Hoyer on a slant play and said Steelers cornerback Joe Haden was trying to make a play on the ball when he accidentally struck his hand.
The Ohio State product had just returned from an abdominal injury that forced him to miss three games. With top receiver T.Y. Hilton out on Sunday with a calf injury, Campbell saw his role increase significantly; he was targeted five times and caught all five passes for 53 yards, and he also had three rushing attempts for 27 yards.
“We’re all frustrated for him. I understand his frustration,” Reich said of Campbell. “I mean, I think we saw a little taste yesterday of his explosiveness, and just how raw he is. You could feel the energy when he has the ball and the explosiveness. And I thought yesterday he did pretty well, so it was just unfortunate to get this fractured hand. But thankfully it’s not anything that’s catastrophic, and hopefully it heals quickly.”
In other injury-related news…
» The team is waiting to see how Ryan Kelly, the team’s starting center, responds over the next couple days after he was knocked out of the Steelers game with a burner injury to his neck. Kelly initially suffered the injury late in the first quarter and then tried to come back in the game, but was eventually downgraded to out and replaced by backup Josh Andrews. “With those burner things, you’ve just gotta see how it responds during the week,” Reich told Taylor. “I mean, we’re cautiously optimistic with Ryan, but we’ll see how it goes as the week progresses.”
» Reich was “encouraged” by the progress made by top cornerback Pierre Desir and his injured hamstring last week. Desir, who missed his second straight game, was originally labeled as doubtful against the Steelers and then upgraded to questionable on Saturday, but was ultimately inactive. “He had a good week and made a lot of progress during the week,” said Reich, who added the plan is to get Desir back out at practice as soon as Wednesday to start to “see if he’s ready to go.”
» And, finally, wide receiver Devin Funchess could possibly make his return to practice this week, Reich said Monday. Funchess, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a clavicle injury in the Colts’ Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, was eligible to be designated to return to practice as soon as Oct. 23, but Reich said there are still a couple boxes left to be checked to make a full return — which could happen this week. If Funchess does officially return from IR, the soonest he could play would be Week 11 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. “He could come back, if he passes the last couple quote-unquote tests, he could be back out there on the practice field this week,” Reich told Taylor.