INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts (7-4) on Sunday travel south to take on their AFC South Division foes, the Houston Texans (4-7), as Indy will try to re-gain some footing in the divisional race after falling to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium — and, accordingly, it's time to take a look at the team's unofficial depth chart for the game.
Here is a position-by-position look for the Texans matchup, with some notes for each unit:
» WR: T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Dezmon Patmon
» LT: Anthony Castonzo, Chaz Green
» LG: Quenton Nelson
» C: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter
» RG: Mark Glowinski
» RT: Braden Smith, Le'Raven Clark
» TE: Jack Doyle, Trey Burton
» TE: Mo Alie-Cox, Noah Togiai
» WR: Zach Pascal, DeMichael Harris
» WR: Marcus Johnson, Ashton Dulin
» QB: Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason
» RB: Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins
» The Jacoby Brissett short-yardage role that we've seen in recent weeks continued last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans — and, once again, it produced positive results for the Colts. Brissett entered the game on Indy's opening drive, with the Colts facing 3rd and 3 from their own 46, and initially handed it off to running back Jordan Wilkins, who got two yards to the 48. Head coach Frank Reich elected to go for it on 4th and 1, and Brissett scrambled out of bounds after gaining two yards and moving the chains. Brissett was back on the field on Indy's second drive, taking over on 1st and Goal from the 1-yard line and punching it in for the touchdown. He would add a second one-yard rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
» Jonathan Taylor was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list last Saturday, leaving the Colts with just two active running backs for last Sunday's game against the Titans in Nyheim Hines, who got the start for a second straight week, and Jordan Wilkins. Hines ended up playing 48 offensive snaps (65 percent) and totaling 95 total yards (29 rushing, 66 receiving), while Wilkins — who briefly left the game with an injury to his ribs — had 22 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving on the day.
» Danny Pinter got his first-ever start at center (well, his first-ever NFL start anywhere) last Sunday in place of an injured Ryan Kelly (neck), and played all 74 offensive snaps. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo, meanwhile, exited the game in the early goings after playing just 19 offensive snaps (26 percent); Le'Raven Clark came on to replace Castonzo and played 55 offensive snaps (74 percent).
» DE: Justin Houston, Ben Banogu, Kemoko Turay
» DT: Tyquan Lewis
» NT: Grover Stewart, Taylor Stallworth
» DE: Al-Quadin Muhammad
» WLB: Darius Leonard, Matthew Adams, Jordan Glasgow
» MLB: Anthony Walker, Zaire Franklin
» SAM: Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed
» CB: Rock Ya-Sin, T.J. Carrie
» FS: Julian Blackmon, George Odum
» SS: Khari Willis, Tavon Wilson
» N: Kenny Moore II, Isaiah Rodgers
» CB: Xavier Rhodes, Tremon Smith
» With two starters along the defensive line on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in Denico Autry and DeForest Buckner, the Colts last Sunday had a starting group that featured Justin Houston and Tyquan Lewis at defensive end and Grover Stewart and Taylor Stallworth at defensive tackle; it was Stallworth's first-career NFL start. Indy played nine defensive linemen in all against the Titans, and eight of them played at least 10 percent of the snaps, including rookies Kameron Cline (12 offensive snaps, 17 percent) and Rob Windsor (7 offensive snaps, 10 percent), but Kemoko Turay, playing last Sunday for just the second time this season after working his way off the Physically Unable to Perform list, played just four snaps in all against Tennessee.
» Bobby Okereke is dealing with an ankle injury, which forced him to miss last Sunday's loss to the Titans. Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker both ended up playing all 72 defensive snaps in the game, while Zaire Franklin logged 32 defensive snaps (44 percent), and E.J. Speed had one defensive snap.
» With second-year cornerback Rock Ya-Sin struggling a bit with penalties, veteran T.J. Carrie ended up playing 35 percent of the defensive snaps last Sunday against the Titans to Ya-Sin's 38 percent. Also in the secondary, Tavon Wilson logged 13 snaps at safety in place of a sick Khari Willis.
» P: Rigoberto Sanchez
» PK: Rodrigo Blankenship
» H: Rigoberto Sanchez
» LS: Luke Rhodes
» KR: Isaiah Rodgers
» PR: Nyheim Hines, Isaiah Rodgers
» As I'm sure you've heard by now, Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez revealed on Monday that he has been diagnosed with cancer, and is scheduled to undergo an operation to remove the tumor today. Consider this: Sanchez learned of his diagnosis late last week, still decided to play through the pain last Sunday against the Titans, averaged more than 50 yards per punt on five kicks, one of which was downed inside the 20-yard line, was the holder for two Rodrigo Blankenship field goals and also attempted an onside kick. In fact, the only difference for Sanchez last Sunday was the fact Blankenship was handling kickoff duties. What a fighter.