Colts Notebook: Andrew Luck Prepares To Face NFL’s Top Passing Defense
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INDIANAPOLIS – Full pads were donned by the Colts on Wednesday afternoon for a beautiful fall day of practice, in beginning serious prep work for the Jaguars in Week 10.
The Colts and Jaguars will face off on Sunday afternoon with the loser falling to last place in the AFC South, and the winner still clinging to some hope at a late-season playoff push.
Here were the Wednesday takeaways from Colts’ practice:
- The Colts (3-5) close the season with 5 divisional games in the final 8 weeks. They are currently 2.5 games in back of the Houston Texans (6-3). Frank Reich said he occasionally shows his team the division standings, but has not done that this week. It goes without saying that the Colts will need to win at least 4 of their final 5 divisional games this season if they want any shot at possibly challenging the Texans.
- It’s pretty remarkable that the Colts have had back-to-back massive games from an offensive standpoint, yet T.Y. Hilton has only had 59 total receiving yards in those two wins. That’s an extremely small number for Hilton. Frank Reich said on Wednesday that teams have committed a large amount of resources to take away Hilton, and some plays to try and find No. 13 have led to Luck’s progression sending the ball elsewhere.
- Frank Reich said that rookie RT-Braden Smith (left hand) should be able to play through his injury. Smith appeared to be wearing a bigger glove on his injured left hand/wrist area and is testing that out at practice this week. The rookie suffered the injury in the win over Oakland, but still played every snap in that game.
- In looking at the Jaguars, they had running back Leonard Fournette participating at practice on Wednesday. Fournette (ankle) did not play in the month of October and has just 20 carries this season. Might the Colts have to prepare for Fournette, who played in just 1 of the 2 matchups in 2017?
- Why are the Jaguars by far the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL this season? Well, Frank Reich pointed to both the pressure from the front and the talent in the secondary as the reasons why. In Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, the Jaguars have corners they feel comfortable in leaving on an island. However, Bouye isn't expected to play this Sunday due to injury.
- Speaking of Ramsey, the Colts might see the All-Pro cornerback shadow Hilton this Sunday. If that happens, it could be another big day for the Indy tight ends. But we will see if the injury to Bouye impacts how the Jaguars handle their cornerback situation in Week 10.
- Remember when Ramsey called out Andrew Luck back in the summer? Well, Luck offered up much more a compliment for Ramsey on Wednesday: “A stud. Physically, he’s very gifted. He plays football very smart and sharply.”
- Along with Matt Overton, former Colt Donte Moncrief will be on the visiting sideline in Week 10. Moncrief has started every game this season for the Jaguars, producing 29 catches for 379 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chester Rogers, T.Y. Hilton and Moncrief have been texting each other in a group conversation this week and I’d expect some interesting TD celebrations if any of them find the end zone.
- The health of the Colts continues to improve. Right now, the guys most likely to be inactive appear to be just TE-Ryan Hewitt (ankle), S-Mike Mitchell (calf) and TE-Erik Swoope (knee).
- Wide receiver Ryan Grant (ankle) was back to practice for the first time in nearly a month. Grant hurt his ankle in a Week Six loss to the Jets and has missed the last two games. The Colts currently have 6 healthy receivers on their 53-man roster.
- Safety Malik Hooker (hip) was practicing again on Wednesday after missing the win over Oakland.
WEDNESDAY’S INJURY REPORT
DNP: S-Clayton Geathers (knee), TE-Ryan Hewitt (ankle), S-Mike Mitchell (calf), DT-Hassan Ridgeway (illness), TE-Erik Swoope (knee)
-Bowen’s Analysis: The Colts could have just 3 healthy tight ends this week, with Swoope and Hewitt missing both Monday and Wednesday.
LIMITED: WR-Ryan Grant (ankle), CB-Nate Hairston (ankle), S-Malik Hooker (hip), RB-Marlon Mack (foot), DE-Kemoko Turay (neck)
-Bowen’s Analysis: Hooker was limited on Wednesday after missing all of practice leading into the Oakland game. It’s now a ‘foot’ injury for Mack as he’s dealt with hamstring an ankle ailments this year.
FULL: OT-Braden Smith (left hand)
-Bowen’s Analysis: The Smith update is above.
Jalen Ramsey on Luck this summer: "I don't really think he's that good. Him & T.Y. had a connection in the past that made him stand out a little bit more, but I don't think he's good." Luck on Ramsey today: “A stud. Physically, very gifted. Plays football very smart & sharply.” pic.twitter.com/yK38LaMJzC — Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) November 7, 2018
Jalen Ramsey on Luck this summer: "I don't really think he's that good. Him & T.Y. had a connection in the past that made him stand out a little bit more, but I don't think he's good."
Luck on Ramsey today: “A stud. Physically, very gifted. Plays football very smart & sharply.” pic.twitter.com/yK38LaMJzC
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) November 7, 2018