INDIANAPOLIS – Flurries were in the air at Colts practice on Thursday.
Football weather is upon Indianapolis with the Colts having a little longer than normal injury report heading into Friday's last practice of the week:
Here are some headlines from coordinators Pep Hamilton and Greg Manusky talking to the media on Thursday afternoon:
Pep Hamilton on getting Dwayne Allen back in the lineup:
"One of the things that we all take for granted because we get so caught up in the stats, scoring touchdowns and catching the football, he's a tremendous asset for our offense because of his ability to play without the ball."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Hamilton is always an insightful interview and this comment from Allen is an example of that. Yes, Allen's seven touchdowns in his 10 games played this year is impressive but it's what the third-year tight end does without the ball in his hands that makes him such a unique player.
In the last two weeks, with Allen out of the lineup, the Colts have utilized several jumbo packages with Xavier Nixon and Khaled Holmes as extra linemen. That's where Allen comes into play---short yardage, goal line, four-minute situations. Instead of announcing a tackle eligible and tipping your hand a bit with a "jumbo' package, the Colts could now have Allen back and be able to run the football effectively while staying in their base package.
Pep Hamilton on Donte Moncrief:
"He's gotten better from week-to-week and when given the opportunity to go out and make a play he's shown that he can make plays for us."
Bowen's Analysis: Ever since the offseason, Hamilton has praised how well Moncrief has consumed the Colts playbook. While everything that comes with playing as an NFL rookie can often limit first-year players, Moncrief has proven himself to handle that workload among a deep Colts receivers group.
Back during the draft process, much of the talk was on how much depth the rookie receiver class had in 2014. Moncrief is an example of that. The Colts weren't sure if he would be there in the third round back in May but they are taking full advantage of his presence at such a critical time in the season.
Greg Manusky on defending Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon:
"He's back on pace to where he was last year. He's a skilled person that can get up the field. He can break contain. He's very fast on the outside, and the quarterbacks trust him."
Bowen's Analysis: While Vontae Davis is still going through the concussion protocol, Manusky thinks his star corner "will be up" on Sunday. Davis' presence is extremely critical in facing Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Since returning from suspension, Gordon has received an absurd 29 targets in the last two weeks. Gordon's 37 percent of targets in back-to-back games would blow away any other receiver in the league in terms of target percentage over the course of the season. The Browns aren't going to shy away from one of the game's elite receivers even with a healthy Davis in the lineup.
Here's the injury report from Thursday's practice:
-DNP- Mike Adams (back), Josh Cribbs (knee), Vontae Davis (concussion), Jonotthan Harrison (illness), Xavier Nixon (foot), Andy Studebaker (hamstring) and Hugh Thornton (knee).
-The key guys to watch on this list heading into Sunday are the first four guys. Adams, Cribbs and Davis have yet to practice this week. Harrison was added to the practice report on Thursday.
-LIMITED- Lance Louis (illness), Cory Redding (knee) and Erik Walden (knee).
-Redding and Walden were both DNPs at Wednesday's practice.
-FULL- Dwayne Allen (ankle), T.Y. Hilton (hamstring), D'Qwell Jackson (rest), Arthur Jones (illness), Zach Kerr (illness) and Reggie Wayne (rest).
-That's a second straight day of practice for Dwayne Allen, who has missed the last two games. Hilton went from a limited participant yesterday to full on Thursday. Also, Jones and Kerr returned to practice.