DETROIT — The Indianapolis Colts on Saturday saw the return of one of their top wide receivers from the injured reserve list, and now it seems as if they'll also have one of their top playmaking tight ends and their starting center ready to go for today's game against the Detroit Lions.
Tight end Mo Alie-Cox and center Ryan Kelly, both of whom were questionable heading into today's Week 8 road matchup against the Lions with knee injuries, are officially active.
Also active for the Colts today is rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who was placed on IR with a lower leg injury and missed the last three games, but was officially moved back to the active roster on Saturday.
Those who are inactive for the Colts today are defensive end Ron'Dell Carter, quarterback Jacob Eason, wide receiver Dezmon Patmon, cornerback Tremon Smith and tight end Noah Togiai.
» Alie-Cox (knee) first appeared on the Colts' injury report on Oct. 14, and he would end up missing that week's home win over the Cincinnati Bengals before heading into the bye week. The third-year tight end, who has 11 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns on the year, did not participate in Wednesday's practice, but was able to be a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. With Alie-Cox active, the team has all three of its top tight ends available alongside Jack Doyle and Trey Burton, both of whom scored touchdowns in the Week 6 win over the Bengals.
» Kelly suffered a knee injury during Wednesday's practice, head coach Frank Reich said, and did not participate in practice on Thursday and Friday. While Reich said the team would have confidence in 2020 fifth-round pick Danny Pinter if he had to make his first-career start at center against the Lions, the third-year Colts head coach said Kelly could possibly be cleared to play if he passed all physical tests before today's game. "Ryan — just the experience, his intelligence, his toughness. He is a pro, how he handles himself in meetings," Reich said about having confidence in Kelly without the benefit of much practice time this week. "The guys — they know he's our leader up there. He's our leader as far as communication, as far as getting us all on the same page. He's proven it time and time again. He's had to battle some injuries and he's done a great job of that. So if he's ready to go, even if it's only on one-day's work, we feel confident he'll play very well if he's in there."
» Pittman Jr. suffered a lower-leg injury in the first half of last the Colts' Week 3 win over the New York Jets; he was initially labeled as questionable return, but was able to get back onto the field in the third quarter, finishing with three receptions for 26 yards. But Pittman Jr. started feeling immense pain in his leg later that night, and after being diagnosed with compartment syndrome, was immediately placed into surgery to relieve the pressure. The 2020 second-round (34th-overall) pick out of USC was placed on IR on Oct. 3. New league rules exclusively for 2020 require all players placed on IR during the season to miss a minimum of three games; accordingly, Pittman Jr. ended up missing Indy's last three games against the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and the Bengals. Pittman Jr.'s potential return today adds another weapon for quarterback Philip Rivers and the Indy offense, and allows Zach Pascal greater flexibility to line up in the slot.