INDIANAPOLIS – The storylines are beginning to take shape for the Colts' regular season opener.
Andrew Luck is still limited in practice, but is definitely going to play Sunday.
On Thursday, we heard from coordinators Rob Chudzinski and Ted Monachino. Both guys addressed their respective units that will see plenty of pressure from the Lions on Sunday.
What did Chudzinski, Monachino and Antonio Cromartie have to say to the media on Thursday?
Rob Chudzinski on if he is planning to have Andrew Luck at quarterback on Sunday:
Bowen's Analysis:* *The question was necessary because Luck was limited on Thursday's practice and did not throw when the media was present for the start of practice. On Thursday, Ryan Grigson reassured that Luck will be ready to go on Sunday, saying this is part of a "plan" the Colts are using with their franchise quarterback.
Chudzinski spoke on Thursday saying he knew Luck was "back" this year right when the offensive coordinator saw No. 12 throwing the ball during OTAs. Chud saw a "normal" Luck back in the spring and that carried over to a strong preseason from an individual standpoint. Luck and the offense is going to have to pull much of the weight on Sunday, with all the injuries being dealt with on defense.
Antonio Cromartie on if he's ever seen a cornerback situation this banged up in Indy:
"I've never experienced anything like this."
Bowen's Analysis: This is Cromartie's 11th season in the NFL and he's never seen a more injury riddled cornerback group. With Cromartie, the Colts have four healthy cornerbacks for Week One. Of that quartet, only Patrick Robinson was even with the Colts before Week Two of the preseason. Robinson's 16 preseason snaps are the only ones a healthy cornerback had in Indianapolis this year.
A virtually new-look corner room will be tested on Sunday with a Detroit offense known for wanting to chuck it around the field. Ted Monachino said on Thursday that he will cater the coverages at the back end of the defense to the new cornerbacks, which includes two guys who have been Colts for less than a week. Monachino did say Cromartie looks more than ready to handle the load on Sunday, even though the veteran corner didn't take part in an NFL offseason program, Training Camp or play in the preseason.
Rob Chudzinski on what stands out about Detroit's defense:
"They have one of the best defensive fronts in football.
"There's no secretes, one of the keys of the game is going to be how we play in the trenches."
Bowen's Analysis: With Ezekiel Ansah on the outside and Haloti Nagta on the inside, Detroit has standout players across their line. Chudzinski began his Thursday presser speaking to the strength of the Detroit front.
One aspect of Sunday to watch will be if Chud's game plan is impacted by what the Colts are dealing with on defense. Jim Irsay said earlier in the week that the offense will need at least 24 points to win. Do we see the offense prepare for a shootout from the opening snap?
Here is Thursday's injury report:
- DNP: CB-Darius Butler (ankle), CB-Vontae Davis (ankle) and S-Clayton Geathers (foot).
-It's looking like the Colts will go into Sunday with just four healthy cornerbacks.
- LIMITED: DT-Henry Anderson (knee), G-Joe Haeg (ankle), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder), G-Jack Mewhort (knee), ILB-Sio Moore (hamstring) and G-Joe Reitz (back)
-Anderson will not play Sunday. The Luck update is above. We did see Joe Haeg return to practice on Thursday, a good sign for him getting back soon. It's once again a great sign that Mewhort has returned to practice this soon. Jim Irsay did say on Tuesday that he didn't think Mewhort would be ready for Detroit. Thursday was Moore's second day back to practice. If Moore doesn't go on Sunday, expect a linebacker rotation of Josh McNary, Antonio Morrison and Edwin Jackson.
On Thursday, the Colts signed quarterback Stephen Morris to the practice squad and waived safety Lee Hightower.
This was the move the Colts wanted in keeping their cornerback depth on the 53-man roster (after they wavied Morris for CB-Rashaan Melvin on Wednesday morning), but still holding onto Morris via the practice squad.