INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich today spoke to reporters via conference call. What injury updates did he have on wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Ashton Dulin and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, and what else did he have to say about quarterback Philip Rivers spreading the ball around and trying to stop the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson this Sunday?
You can catch that entire session above, but here are some top takeaways:
» Latest injury news: Reich had some injury updates coming out of Sunday's 41-21 Week 8 road victory over the Detroit Lions:
— Wide receivers T.Y. Hilton (groin) and Ashton Dulin (knee) both exited the Lions game and did not return. Reich said both will continue to be monitored this week heading into this Sunday's Week 9 home matchup against the Baltimore Ravens; the Colts' first practice of the week is Wednesday. If either Hilton or Dulin are limited in any fashion this week or this Sunday, the team can turn to Marcus Johnson, Zach Pascal, Dezmon Patmon and Michael Pittman Jr. at the wide receiver position, and also has DeMichael Harris on the practice squad if needed.
— Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin also exited Sunday's contest and was evaluated for a concussion, but was quickly cleared after the game, Reich said.
— While it didn't come up during the game, Reich said rookie running back Jonathan Taylor appeared on a postgame report with a "little bit of an ankle issue." Reich didn't have any other information at the time of his Monday conference call, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on moving forward. Third-year veteran Jordan Wilkins ended up playing the most snaps at running back Sunday against the Lions (39), finishing with a game-high 20 carries for 89 yards (4.5 avg.) and a touchdown.
» The Colts have been spreading the wealth in the passing game: Sunday's win over the Lions was a prime example of quarterback Philip Rivers' growing comfort both within the Colts' offense and with his various targets at the wide receiver, tight end and running back positions.
Rivers completed 23 passes in all to 11 different receivers on the day, none of whom hauled in more than three receptions apiece: Nyheim Hines (3), Zach Pascal (3), Mo Alie-Cox (3), Trey Burton (3), Marcus Johnson (2), Jack Doyle (2), Jonathan Taylor (2), T.Y. Hilton (2), Jordan Wilkins (1), Ashton Dulin (1) and Michael Pittman Jr. (1).
Reich said when your quarterback is spreading the wealth in that manner, it makes it so difficult for an opposing defense to key in on any one player or scheme. That was evident in the Colts' situational stats on Sunday, as Indy converted 50 percent of its attempts on third down and also scored on all three trips inside the red zone.
"We've got a lot of confidence in our guys. They can't lock in on one guy," Reich said. "That's the biggest positive: you don't know who we're throwing to on third down or when we get in the red zone who we're going to feature. We're going to spread it around."
Reich also noted Rivers' growing rapport with a generally young group of Colts receivers; with Hilton out for a good portion of the game on Sunday with a groin injury, the veteran quarterback (who is once again a candidate for the FedEx Air Player of the Week award) didn't hesitate to keep throwing the ball to guys like Pascal, Johnson, Dulin and Pittman Jr.
"There's no question that his comfort level is growing in those young receivers," Reich said. "Philip's doing a good job of helping bring some of those guys along and gain a comfort level, and those guys are working hard."
» Indy is already preparing for the tall task of trying to contain Lamar Jackson this Sunday: The 5-2 Colts on Sunday play host to the 5-2 Ravens who, of course, feature reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson, who not only has proven to be a terrific — and evolving — passer in his first two-plus NFL seasons, but has elite speed and can break big runs at any point of the ballgame.
Perhaps the good news for the Colts is they have had plenty of experience of late going up against some of the more elusive quarterbacks in the NFL; within the past few years, Indianapolis has played the likes of Deshaun Watson twice a year, as well as guys like Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson.
None of those guys have Jackson's speed, however.
Reich said defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus' "11-on-1 mentality" of all 11 players flowing to the ball on every single play isn't just coach speak, it's a way of life for the Colts' defenders. That will be key this Sunday against Jackson and the Ravens.
"I think the speed and talent level of our defense as a unit is at a spot that can matchup against players like this," Reich said. "At the same time, I acknowledge that Lamar is a unique player and that he's a hard matchup for anybody. One-on-one in space, he's going to win a lot of those, so that's why it's going to be important that it's not one-on-one – 'Flus likes to talk about, that it's 11-on-1. That's the way you have to approach guys like this."