INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Thursday held their second of three days of on-field preparations for Sunday's Week 8 contest against the Detroit Lions. What were some of the top takeaways on the day?
Here is the Colts' Thursday injury report:
Alie-Cox returns, Kelly sits
Thursday's injury report had some interesting developments as it pertains to the possible playing status of a few key players:
— On the good news front, tight end Mo Alie-Cox returned to practice Thursday after sitting out the last couple weeks, including the Week 6 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, with a knee injury. Alie-Cox, who has 11 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns this season, was a limited participant on Thursday.
— Also some more positive news for the Colts on Thursday, as All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard was able to elevate from being limited in practice on Wednesday to a full participant on Thursday. Leonard suffered a groin injury just before halftime of the Colts' Week 4 win over the Chicago Bears, and then missed the last two games against the Cleveland Browns and the Bengals.
— Those whose statuses are a little bit more unclear for Sunday's game against the Lions are tight end Jack Doyle and center Ryan Kelly, both of whom did not practice on Thursday. Doyle's absences are non-football related, according to the team, while Kelly sat out Thursday with a knee injury after being limited on Wednesday. Head coach Frank Reich does not typically talk with reporters on Thursdays, so we'll likely get an update on both Doyle and Kelly on Friday.
Day 'grateful' to be back
An Indianapolis native, and Notre Dame product, Sheldon Day was ecstatic to sign a free agent deal with his hometown team this offseason.
Barely into his first training camp with the Colts, though, Day would suffer a knee injury that required a surgical procedure. He was placed on injured reserve at the start of the regular season, and sat out the first five games of the year working hard off to the side to get back as soon as possible.
Day was able to make his Colts debut Week 6 against the Bengals, playing 15 defensive snaps and logging a tackle in Indy's 31-27 victory, and stands to be a major part of the defensive line rotation moving forward.
He said getting back against the Bengals was well worth the wait.
"The coaching staff is phenomenal. The group of guys are phenomenal. Just always encouraging, making sure that I feel comfortable, making sure my knee is healthy, everything – just tremendous on all fronts," Day said. "I can't be more excited and more grateful to be a part of this organization."
The 6-foot-1, 285-pound defensive tackle was a fourth-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016, and signed with the Colts as a free agent this offseason after playing in 56 games with the Jaguars (2016-17) and San Francisco 49ers (2017-19), where he accumulated 53 tackles (14 for a loss) with 6.0 sacks and four passes defensed.
He was a key member of the 49ers' postseason run in 2019, when they advanced all the way to Super Bowl LIV. He started all three of San Francisco's playoff games last season, tallying three tackles (two solo) and 1.0 tackle for loss.
Now officially off and running with the Colts, Day knows how important his role will be moving forward.
"Just a veteran player to be honest and somebody that can really help – give Buck (DeForest Buckner) a breather or Grover (Stewart) a breather," Day said when asked what he adds to the defensive line. "Then just bringing my knowledge of the game as well, trying to help people see the game how I see it and see if I can help them in that way. Also, a change of speed type of guy, so whether that's pass rush or run, just trying to assert my dominance."