INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts signed a guy to their active roster on Thursday morning, and his position is an indication of the major storyline for Chuck Pagano's team this week.
OT-Jeremey Vujnovich's elevation from the practice squad to the active roster is needed with the Colts possibly down three of their top six linemen against the Vikings.
Here is the Thursday notebook with the coordinators meeting the media, and Rob Chudzinski shedding some light on his 4th-and-1 call in last Sunday's loss to the Texans.
- TE-Dwayne Allen (hip): We saw Allen return to practice in a limited role on Thursday after he missed Wednesday's session.
- G-Denzelle Good (concussion): Good appears to have had a setback in the concussion protocol. After practicing limited on Wednesday, Good did not practice on Thursday.
- DT-Zach Kerr (concussion): Kerr is progressing through the protocol. After being limited on Wednesday, Kerr was a full participant on Thursday.
- QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder/elbow): The full Luck update is here. Luck was officially listed as limited on the Thursday practice report.
- OLB-Robert Mathis (elbow): For the first time in two weeks, Mathis practiced on Thursday. Mathis said earlier this week that he will be playing in Minnesota.
- WR-Donte Moncrief (hamstring): Moncrief did not practice for a second straight day. Remember, the Colts brought up WR-Devin Street from the practice squad earlier this week. Chuck Pagano has listed Moncrief at "day-to-day" after the third-year receiver left Sunday's loss early.
- OT-Joe Reitz (back): Reitz has battled a back injury all season long. His absence the first two days of this week is especially noteworthy because Reitz is a starter for this team right now with Jack Mewhort on injured reserve.
Rob Chudzinski on the real possibility of missing three of his top six linemen come Sunday:
"Guys got to step up and step forward. We've got our challenges ahead of us."
Bowen's Analysis: The challenge is on multiple fronts this week. Let's start with the healthy personnel for Rob Chudzinski. With Jonotthan Harrison the expected starter at left guard (for Jack Mewhort), it would be just his second career start there. Then the right side of the line is likely to have two rookies. There's a real possibility rookie third-round pick Le'Raven Clark could be lining up at right tackle. Clark has been inactive for eight games this season and has played just six offensive snaps all year.
Chud is expected to have his 7th different starting offensive line of the season on Sunday. That group will be going against a dominant Minnesota defensive front. With regards to Clark, Chud feels the rookie is ready. Clark has been working with assistant offensive line coach Joe Gilbert to further his develop because the actual game reps have been miniscule.Rob Chudzinski on what Minnesota's defensive backs will try and do to the Colts receivers:
"They will get a little closer and tighter to the scrimmage and challenge them. They have to play physical."
Bowen's Analysis: Donte Moncrief has missed the first two days of practice this week. It's looking like the Colts will be without their most physical receiver come Sunday. With the state of the trenches for the Colts going up against a stout Vikings front, the Indy offense needs their receivers to win early on in plays.
Also on Thursday, Chud talked about the opportunity that again is there for Jacoby Brissett. Chud said the "time is now" for Dorsett to make an impact. The Colts really, really need just that from Dorsett with the league's top scoring defense the opposition in Week 15, and Moncrief possibly out.Ted Monachino on Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph:
"You've got a tight end that can take a game over."
Bowen's Analysis: Much of the talk this week centers on the Colts offense versus the Vikings defense. And for good reason. When you look at the flip side (the Vikings offense versus the Colts defense), there's just not a lot of things that jump out at you.
One is Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph. The 6-7 Rudolph has six touchdown catches this season, which is tied for the most of any NFL tight end. Houston found success in using the tight ends last week. So Edwin Jackson and Antonio Morrison must be ready for the taller Rudolph.**
On Thursday, the Colts elevated tackle Jeremy Vujnovich to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Vujnovich, 6-5, 300 pounds, has spent time on the Colts active roster and practice squad this season.
Vujnovich played five special teams back in the Colts game in London this season. He has yet to play an offensive snap in an NFL game. The Colts need an extra offensive line body this week with all the injuries up front.**
Here is Thursday's injury report:
-DNP: OG-Denzelle Good (concussion), WR-T.Y. Hilton (back), DT-Arthur Jones (groin), WR-Donte Moncrief (hamstring), OT-Joe Reitz (back)
-LIMITED: TE-Dwayne Allen (hip), WR-Phillip Dorsett (groin), S-T.J. Green (ankle), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder, elbow)
-FULL: S-Mike Adams (rest), CB-Vontae Davis (rest), RB-Frank Gore (rest), DT-Zach Kerr (concussion), OLB-Robert Mathis (bicep)