INDIANAPOLIS – The AFC South is clinched, yet two more weeks of the regular season remains for the Colts.
Thursday's practice saw T.Y. Hilton once again sit out due to a hamstring injury he suffered against the Texans.
Here are some headlines from coordinators Pep Hamilton and Greg Manusky talking to the media on Thursday afternoon:
Pep Hamilton on getting off to better starts:
"I can't put my finger on it. It's something that of course I've went back and evaluated and assessed each week on Monday.
"I think when it's all said and done it starts with me."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Just like Andrew Luck, Hamilton frequently takes blame for any offensive shortcomings. While he couldn't offer a concrete answer on the slow starts, Hamilton said that the balance of risk/reward is something to take into consideration.
Hamilton maintains that the Colts must always be in "attack mode" but at the same time, a few "risky" plays early in games have led to turnovers deep in their own territory. What makes this topic even more of a head scratcher is seeing how successful the Colts were early on in the season with quick starts.
Pep Hamilton on the play of Hakeem Nicks against the Texans:
"Our guys have submitted to the fact that in order for you to be a part of this team, and for us to be able to achieve our ultimate team goals, you've got to check your ego at the door, and all of our guys have been on board as far as understanding their role.
"When the opportunity presents itself, we've had guys step up and make plays."
Bowen's Analysis: A few weeks back Hamilton was asked about Nicks and his role within the Colts offense. The Colts offensive coordinator answered with something along the lines of…it is still a long season and there will be times for Nicks to make plays for this offseason.
Nicks made Hamilton look pretty smart on Sunday by finding the end zone for the first time in a month. Now, with Hilton missing the last two days of practice, could the reps for Nicks increase this weekend?
Greg Manusky on if he's ever had a corner play as consistent as Vontae Davis:
"Every game that he's been playing, he's consistent across the board.
"For the most part, he's been consistently doing his job week in and week out against some top players around the league."
Bowen's Analysis: In trying to dissect how Davis could be left out of the Pro Bowl you take a look at his numbers this year. Opposing quarterback have frequently ignored Davis' side of the field, yet the Colts cornerback is still second in the league in passes defensed (20) and fifth in interceptions (4). He's done that in not even playing all 14 games this season.
The Colts ask Davis, and Greg Toler, to do things most corners in the NFL don't have on their plate. Davis has thrived this year and is living up to the contract the Colts gave him back in March. Besides Andrew Luck, it's hard to argue there's a more valuable player on this football team than Davis.
Here's the injury report from Thursday's practice:
-DNP- Gosder Cherilus (groin), T.Y. Hilton (hamstring), Joe Reitz (ankle) and Hugh Thornton (knee).
-For the second straight day, Hilton didn't practice. I can't recall too many Colts who haven't practiced all week and then played that following Sunday, so tomorrow is obviously a key day for Hilton's status. Davis returned to practice after missing Wednesday.
-LIMITED- Vontae Davis (groin) and Erik Walden (knee).
-Both Davis and Walden missed Wednesday's practice, so this is a good sign for two key defenders.
-FULL- Josh Cribbs (rest) and D'Qwell Jackson (rest).
-The veterans were back at practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday.