INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are preparing for the elements that they could be facing on Monday night.
With chilly temps and rain in the forecast in New York on Monday, the Colts have practiced the "wet ball" drill at practice this week, trying to simulate what will be their most adverse environment to play in this season.
At practice, the Colts continue to see Andrew Luck and Clayton Geathers participate for a third straight day this week.
Here is the Thursday notebook with the coordinators meeting the media after the team's first official practice of the week:
- OLB-Trent Cole (back): Cole continues to practice and looks to be a realistic option to return to game action on Monday, especially with Robert Mathis' status very much up in the air. The Colts officially activated Cole from the IR list on Thursday.
- CB-Vontae Davis (groin): Davis was limited on Thursday, a good sign for the team's first official practice this week.
- S-Clayton Geathers (concussion): Geathers was once again practicing and a full participant, too. We will find out Friday if Geathers has been fully cleared for game action.
- G-Denzelle Good (neck): The team's starting right guard was a full participant on Wednesday.
- WR-T.Y. Hilton (lower back): Hilton did not practice on Thursday, which has been a normal off day for him as of late. We did see Hilton practicing on Wednesday.
- C-Ryan Kelly (shoulder): With Denzelle Good and Kelly practicing on Wednesday, the team's offensive line was intact.
- QB-Andrew Luck (concussion): Luck had his normal practice routine on Thursday (remember Thursday is Luck's "limited" day this year with the right shoulder maintenance). Just like with Clayton Geathers, we will find out Friday if Luck has been fully cleared for game action. Additional positive news on Luck playing this week came late Thursday when the Colts waived QB-Stephen Morris, in the corresponding roster move to bring Trent Cole back up to the active roster.
- OLB-Robert Mathis (bicep): Mathis has missed all of practice this week.
- CB-Patrick Robinson (groin): Robinson played in the team's loss to the Steelers, but hasn't practiced since.
Rob Chudzinski on using some Wildcat looks:
"(The opponent has) to spend practice time and obviously they have to game plan and have some answers for it and what they're going to do and work on it.
"So it's another thing that you can show them that requires them to spend time on it."
Bowen's Analysis: Over the past three games, we've seen the Colts utilize more Wildcat looks via direct snaps to Frank Gore. Chud said this is something he used as a coordinator in Carolina. The wrinkle we saw against Tennessee---the pitch back to Andrew Luck to throw---should open up the potential for other variances when Gore is the single back with Luck split out wide.
As far as Gore, the Colts need to get more out of the running game than the 28 yards they got from their lead back last Thursday. There's no doubt that the absence of Andrew Luck and Ryan Kelly played into the lack of run game production. Finding some yards on the ground this week will have to come against the NFL's 4th ranked rush defense.Rob Chudzinski on what he sees from Jets defense:
"They are aggressive and they pressure, so we have to be able to make plays when you get those opportunities."
Bowen's Analysis: Plays will be there to be made for the Colts on Monday. But the risk/reward is also going to be not too far away. It's looking like Rob Chudzinski could again have his full offensive personnel together this week. That's a great sign after he called plays without four starters, and a couple of really important ones, against the Steelers.
One aspect of Chud's unit that needs to be watched on Monday is how his receivers handle the press coverage that the Jets will likely bring. The Colts are going to play some stout defensive fronts in the coming weeks, so the pass catchers need to do their job in creating early separation for Andrew Luck to find them.
Ted Monachino on seeing Trent Cole in practice this week:
"He looks really good in practice and we would expect him to be as healthy as possible come Monday."
Bowen's Analysis: Monachino said he's been very pleased with the ease at which Cole has looked in getting back to full speed this week. Cole had the bonus practice this past Monday and he could very well be on the field for some run a week later.
With Robert Mathis missing practice this week, it makes sense the Colts brought Cole back up to the active roster (especially if No. 98 can't go come Monday). The Colts need any help from the pass rush they can get with Erik Walden the only consistent presence off the edge this season.**
DNP: WR-T.Y. Hilton (back), OLB-Robert Mathis (bicep), DT-Hasaan Ridgeway (back), CB-Patrick Robinson (groin)
LIMITED: CB-Vontae Davis (groin), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder/concussion), CB-Chris Milton (foot)
FULL: S-Clayton Geathers (concussion), G-Denzelle Good (shoulder), C-Ryan Kelly (shoulder)
On Thursday, the Colts activated outside linebacker Trent Cole from the Injured Reserve list and waived quarterback Stephen Morris.