INDIANAPOLIS – Preparation for the Jaguars continued on Thursday afternoon with the Colts holding a two-hour practice indoors.
The injury report was a bit long, by 2014 standards, on Wednesday but a few names began to trend in the right direction following Thursday's practice.
Here are some headlines from Pep Hamilton, Greg Manusky and Trent Richardson talking to the media on Thursday:
Pep Hamilton on the emergence of Coby Fleener:
"This is his third year in the National Football League and we expected that he could go out and have an explosive game, and continue to have explosive games like we saw this past Sunday night."
Bowen's Analysis:* *With Dwayne Allen missing practice for a second straight day on Thursday, Fleener could see his most extensive playing time against the Jaguars. If he does, he will be doing so fresh off a career-high 144 receiving yards.
Hamilton calls Fleener an "explosive playmaker" and his seven catches in seven targets were key against the Patriots. The Colts offensive coordinator said he needs to continue to put Fleener in the favorable matchups that we saw on Sunday. Remember that in 2013, Fleener was the team's second leading receiver with the swelling number of offensive injuries last year.
Greg Manusky on having Art Jones back in the lineup this weekend:
"Well I think a bigger body frame guy that can plug up the run game, give you a little bit something on pass rush on third downs, a guy that has some ability to get after the quarterback and that's what we're looking for.
"It's a good plus for us, getting him at the right time."
Bowen's Analysis: Jones was his typical smiling self as he welcomed the media around him on Thursday afternoon. Despite the ankle injury issues that have limited to around 15 percent of the team's defensive snaps this year, Jones has always been upbeat.
At the same time, he's a competitor and realizes the type of impact his return could mean for a Colts defense needing to improve against the run. Jones hasn't played a full game since the season opener. The talk all season long was how the Colts would use someone with a unique makeup of Jones. Will we finally see that during the stretch run?
Trent Richardson on the loss of Ahmad Bradshaw:
"I'm going to do everything I can to make Ahmad (Bradshaw) proud because I know he looks at me to hold the ship down and to do what I've always done but even better."
Bowen's Analysis: Boom Herron had some company in the backfield on Thursday with Richardson returning after some flu like symptoms on Wednesday. When Bradshaw went down last season, Richardson had the veteran Donald Brown to lean on in the backfield. Now it's a back in Herron, who has yet to play many meaningful snaps in his young NFL career.
Richardson made it clear that he, and the entire Colts running attack, is motivated by what happened on Sunday night. It will be interesting to watch how the reps between Richardson and Herron are split up this weekend, particularly on third down where Bradshaw got nearly all of the work.
Here's the injury report from Thursday's practice:
-DNP: Dwayne Allen (ankle), Gosder Cherilus (shoulder) and Greg Toler (concussion).
-For a second straight day, Allen and Toler missed practice. Cherilus has battled groin and knee injuries this season to go along with his latest should ailment.
-FULL: D'Qwell Jackson (rest), Arthur Jones (ankle), Trent Richardson (illness) and Reggie Wayne (rest).
-Richardson returned to practice after having to head home on Wednesday with the flu.