INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts will head into their primetime matchup against the New England Patriots on Thursday night once again missing some key pieces.
The team today announced seven players have been ruled out, including Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, whose streak of consecutive starts — which was the third longest among active NFL wide receivers — will end at 42 games.
Those also already ruled out are tight end Jack Doyle (hip), tackle Denzelle Good (not injury related), running back Marlon Mack (hamstring) cornerback Kenny Moore II (concussion), defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (calf) and cornerback Quincy Wilson (concussion).
Good, the Colts' starting right tackle, is with his family in South Carolina, where his brother, Overton, was tragically killed earlier this week. Rookie Braden Smith could get the start in Denzelle Good's place on Thursday.
Several players are also questionable for the game, including tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), safety Clayton Geathers (knee), cornerback Nate Hairston (ankle), center Ryan Kelly (hand), linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle) and kicker Adam Vinatieri (right groin). Head coach Frank Reich said Tuesday because of the short week, many players on the injury report would likely be gametime decisions.
In Sunday's Week 4 matchup against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium, Hilton initially suffered a chest injury during the first quarter, but was able to return. But after a gutty performance that included four receptions for 115 yards, Hilton went down again, this time with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter, and was not able to get back onto the field. Hilton was a non-participant in the team's three walkthroughs this week.
With Hilton in and out of the huddle on Sunday, the Colts did see several backup receivers step up. Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal and Marcus Johnson combined to catch 16 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown, and were integral parts to Indy — once down 18 points more than halfway through the third quarter — mounting a major comeback, tying the game at 31 with 45 seconds left and forcing overtime.
"It impacts us losing a great player in T.Y.," Reich said Tuesday. "But as far as gameplanning, we have a lot of confidence in the next guy up. I think that showed this past week when T.Y. went out. We still were able to move the ball well credit to the guys and really the offense. Andrew did a phenomenal job of creating plays and getting the ball to those players.
"We will miss T.Y. but at the same time you have to have the next man up mentality."
Doyle, Ridgeway and Wilson will be missing their third straight games on Thursday. Mack, who has been battling a nagging hamstring injury since the first preseason game Aug. 9, missed the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals but made his 2018 debut Week 2 against the Washington Redskins before re-aggravating the injury. He was also questionable heading into Sunday's game against the Texans, but was placed on the inactives list before kickoff.
Moore II, meanwhile, suffered his injury Sunday against the Texans and remains in the league's concussion protocol.
Castonzo, meanwhile, has been an active participant in five straight practices/walkthroughs, and could make his 2018 debut on Thursday. The Colts' top left tackle injured his hamstring before the start of training camp and has twice experienced setbacks with the injury since.