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Two Defensive Starters Out Sunday Against The Bengals

Intro: Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Friday that outside linebacker John Simon (stinger) and cornerback Rashaan Melvin (concussion), both starters, will be out on Sunday when the team travels to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.


INDIANAPOLIS —The Indianapolis Colts will be without two defensive starters on Sunday when they travel to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Head coach Chuck Pagano said Friday that outside linebacker John Simon and cornerback Rashaan Melvin, each of whom missed practice all week, will not play on Sunday.

Quarterback Andrew Luck, who continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery, has also officially been ruled out for Sunday.

Simon suffered a stinger last Sunday in the Colts' 27-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Pagano said fifth-year veteran Barkevious Mingo will get the start on Sunday in place of Simon, who has a team-best three sacks for the Indy defense this season.

Mingo played 41 snaps with the defense against the Jaguars and finished with four tackles and two quarterback hits. For the season, Mingo has eight tackles (one for a loss) with four quarterback hits, and he also ranks tied for second on the team with three special teams tackles.

"He went in and played well," Pagano said of Mingo. "He'll get the start there, and he'll do a great job. I mean, he did a good job in the run game and got pressure on the quarterback."

Melvin, meanwhile, exited last Sunday's game on the Jaguars' very first possession with what was later diagnosed as a concussion.

Pagano did not say which player would fill in for Melvin as the team's No. 2 cornerback on Sunday, but said, "We've got options."

"Right now, it's all hands on deck," Pagano said. "We're going to need everybody."

Those "options" to replace Melvin for the Colts include fourth-year veteran Pierre Desir, second-year corner Chris Milton, undrafted rookie Kenny Moore II and 2017 second-round draft pick Quincy Wilson, who has been inactive the past five weeks after earning his first start of the season Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.

On the offensive side of the ball, Pagano confirmed Ryan Kelly will get the start at center on Sunday for the Colts. Kelly missed the second half of the Jaguars game with a hamstring injury, and he was listed with a knee/pelvis injury this week in practice.

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