AFC South: Jeff Linkenbach

Reitz signs qualifying offer

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts continued to add depth to their offensive line.

Guard/tackle Joe Reitz signed his one-year, $1.43 million qualifying offer as a restricted agent Thursday. Reitz, who went to high school in the Indianapolis area, has started 20 of the 34 games he's appeared in during his career. The Colts claimed Reitz off waivers from the Miami Dolphins in 2010.

The problem with the 6-7, 323-pound Reitz is his inability to remain healthy. He missed two games with a concussion last season and seven in 2012 with concussion and knee problems.

With Jeff Linkenbach signing with Kansas City, Reitz has an opportunity to be the Colts' primary utility backup offensive line because he plays either the guard or tackle position.

Colts could have healthy O-line Saturday

December, 31, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Barring any setbacks in practice this week, the Indianapolis Colts could have a full complement of players (minus Donald Thomas) to choose from on the offensive line for Saturday's wild card playoff match against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Coach Chuck Pagano said guard Mike McGlynn, who missed Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with an elbow injury, "will be good to go." The Colts have started a different offensive line in each of their last six game.

"We've never had that happen to this point, but no, it's great to have all those guys available and guys have done a great job filling in for when guys have been out," Pagano said. "It'll be great to have everybody available."

That's the good part for a group that's had a different starting lineup eight times during the regular season.

It'll be up Pagano to determine who he wants to start outside of tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus.

The line has played well over the past four games. But it's not as simple sticking with the same group Pagano used in those matchups because they had four different starting lineups in each game.

In typical Pagano fashion, the coach had no interest in revealing who he plans to start against the Chiefs.

“We'll put the best five out there that we feel give us the best chance to win the football game,” Pagano said.

Here's what the O-line looked like in the Colts' Week 16 victory over the Chiefs:

Tackles: Castonzo, Cherilus

Guards: McGlynn, Xavier Nixon

Center: Samson Satele

Here's what I think the starting line should look like Saturday:

Tackles: Castonzo, Cherilus

Guards: Hugh Thornton, Jeff Linkenbach

Center: McGlynn
INDIANAPOLIS -- If the early struggles to protect quarterback Andrew Luck weren't problem enough, the injuries along the offensive line in recent weeks gave the Indianapolis Colts every excuse to fall apart up front.

Seven different starting lineups along the line, including five in the past five games, have forced coach Chuck Pagano to be creative in his tinkering with the line.

The Colts had only six healthy offensive linemen before they brought center Thomas Austin up from the practice squad the day before their game against the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend. Austin was released on Tuesday.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Luck
AP Photo/Ed ZurgaAndrew Luck is, at last, enjoying a good deal of protection from his offensive line.
But despite all the mixing and matching of interchangeable players, the Colts are in the midst of their best offensive-line play of the season.

Luck has been just sacked twice in the past three games and the Colts have rushed for at least 135 yards in each of the past two games.

“I think the more adversity you face sometimes, it tends to bring you together,” Pagano said. “The players have found a way to put the pieces together week-in and week-out and it doesn’t really matter who’s up and who’s down and who’s available and who’s playing where. They all know they all have position flexibility and know what to do. Those guys all prepare as starters and they’ve done a great job. And they have played well the last couple weeks, especially protecting Andrew.”

The improved play comes after the Colts gave up 22 sacks through the first nine games. They’ve given up a total of nine since then, with five occurring against Tennessee on Dec. 1.

The only stability has been at tackle, where Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus have started every game on the left and right, respectively.

The interior three of the line – the weakest part of the group – is the one that has undergone the constant changes. Jeff Linkenbach replaced the struggling Mike McGlynn at right guard against Tennessee on Dec. 1. McGlynn was back starting at guard the following week because Linkenbach got injured. Then McGlynn had to start at center against Houston on Dec. 15 because Samson Satele went down with an injury.

Are you still with me?

Xavier Nixon, a tackle during his college career at Florida, started at left guard against the Chiefs last weekend. His pull-block helped open a hole for Donald Brown on his 51-yard touchdown run that featured some poor tackling by the Chiefs.

Castonzo, the protector on Luck’s back side, limited Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali, who has 11 sacks this season, to only two tackles and no sacks in the game.

“There’s been so much change that you really have to get back to your fundamentals because you don’t know who is going to play next to you, so it comes down to everybody doing their own fundamentals properly,” Castonzo said. “It might be just the refocus on fundamentals that’s allowed us to play well.”

The Colts could be getting close to having a healthy line (minus Donald Thomas, who is out for the season). Thornton, Linkenbach and Joe Reitz could return to practice later this week.

“Chuck and [general manager] Ryan [Grigson] brought the right guys in here,” Cherilus said. “The new guys come in and they listen to the vets and when your number is called they show up and perform. They’ve been doing that. You want to finish the season with your starting lineup. But we’re talking about football, change is going to come, you’re going to have to make yourself available to be a part of it.”
INDIANAPOLIS – The offensive line is playing well. The same goes for the defense. And now the Indianapolis Colts may finally be getting healthy. It’s coming at a good time, too, with the playoffs less than two weeks away.

Coach Chuck Pagano had a lot of positive information when he talked about the long list of players dealing with injuries during his news conference on Monday.

The MRI on defensive lineman Cory Redding’s shoulder came back negative. He missed part of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs after injuring it while trying to make a diving tackle on running back Jamaal Charles. Redding may not practice on Tuesday, but the Colts are hopeful that he’ll be able to go on Thursday.

Safety Sergio Brown (groin), linebacker Daniel Adongo (hamstring), defensive tackle Montori Hughes (knee), guard Hugh Thornton (neck) and guard Jeff Linkenbach (quad) could all return to practice this season. Offensive lineman Joe Reitz has been cleared to practice after passing an impact concussion test. He has to pass one more concussion protocol before being cleared to play in a game.

It’ll be interesting to see what Pagano does with the offensive line if everybody is healthy. The Colts have started five different lineups on the offensive line in the past five games and seven overall this season.

The Colts wrap up the regular season against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

T.Y. Hilton, Greg Toler miss practice

December, 19, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler had appeared to turn the corner when he took part in a full practice for the first time in two months Wednesday.

But it was also noted that people shouldn’t get excited, because how Toler responded from the practice would be key.

A sign of things to come occurred when Toler wasn’t on the field during the media portion of practice on Thursday. It became official a couple of hours later when the Colts released their practice report and the letters “DNP” were by Toler’s name, meaning he did not practice.

A better indication for Toler’s status for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs will occur Friday when coach Chuck Pagano addresses the media. But not having Toler practice on back-to-back days can’t be a good thing, especially since he hasn’t played since Oct. 20.

So the wait could possibly continue for another week with Toler.

Another eye-catching “DNP” was receiver T.Y. Hilton because of a shoulder problem. He originally injured his shoulder against Arizona on Nov. 24. Hilton had a career-high eight receptions against Houston last weekend.

Here’s the rest of Thursday’s practice report

Did Not Practice

LB Daniel Adongo: Hamstring

S Sergio Brown: Groin

DT Montori Hughes: Knee

DT Ricky Jean Francois: Foot

OL Jeff Linkenbach: Quad

OL Joe Reitz: Concussion

OL Hugh Thornton: Neck

Full Practice

OL Samson Satele: Elbow

FB Stanley Havili: Knee

Is a lineup change coming on the O-line?

December, 18, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- It's taken a little time, but I'm starting to learn how Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano operates (not counting linebacker Pat Angerer's injury news earlier this week) when it comes to possible lineup changes.

He doesn't directly say a change is coming but he hints at it.

That was the case Wednesday afternoon at the Colts' facility. Pagano was asked about Mike McGlynn remaining the starting center once Samson Satele returns from his elbow injury.

Pagano said last week that a player wouldn't lose his starting spot because of an injury.

The coach's response was different this time.

“We'll do what's best for the team and what gives us the best opportunity to win the game,” Pagano said.

Sometimes a little goes a long way.

Depending on the health of the rest of the offensive line, McGlynn will continue to start at center.

I don't look at it as Pagano not staying true to his word. I look at it as he's doing what's best for the team.

You're usually not in a good position when McGlynn plays guard, but the Colts' three best rushing games of the season came when he started at center in place of Satele.

The Colts rushed for 184 yards against San Francisco in Week 3, 157 yards against Jacksonville in Week 4 and 152 yards against Houston last weekend.

This may turn out to be a moot point for now because of the number of injuries they're dealing with on the offensive line.

Joe Reitz (concussion), Hugh Thornton (neck) and Jeff Linkenbach (quad) -- who are all guards -- did not practice Wednesday and Satele was limited.

So the Colts could go with a starting offensive line of Satele at center, Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus at tackle and McGlynn and Xavier Nixon at guard against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

But when everybody is healthy -- if that happens this season -- don't be surprised to see McGlynn starting at center.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts will start their sixth different offensive line when they take on the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

Starting center Samson Satele (elbow) and guard Jeffrey Linkenbach (quad) have been ruled out for the game. Mike McGlynn will slide over from guard and start at center. Hugh Thornton (neck) will return and start at guard after missing last weekend’s game at Cincinnati. Joe Reitz will start at the other guard position.

Coach Chuck Pagano also announced Friday that cornerback Greg Toler (groin), fullback Stanley Havili (knee) and defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (foot) will miss the game.

Sunday will be the seventh straight game that Toler has missed. Pagano is still taking a positive approach that Toler will be back in the lineup before the season ends.

“He’s not 100 percent,” Pagano said. “Just don’t want to throw him out there. Obviously playing the position that he plays, you have to be able to peddle, flip, turn, run, burst, all those things. So it doesn’t make any sense to throw him out there until he’s 100 percent.”

I wrote Thursday that the the Colts should think about shutting Toler down for the season.

Receiver LaVon Brazill is questionable with a foot bruise after he didn’t practice this week. There’s a chance the Colts will bring Griff Whalen up from the practice squad if Brazill can’t play -- leaving them with only four receivers on the active roster.

Upon Further Review: Colts Week 14

December, 9, 2013
CINCINNATI -- An examination of five topics from the Indianapolis Colts' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Locked in at fourth seed: The Colts will finish with the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs barring a collapse from the third-seeded Bengals in their final three games of the season. Cincinnati’s remaining three games are at Pittsburgh and home against Minnesota and Baltimore. The Colts will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the opening weekend of the playoffs if the standings remain the same the rest of the season. The Chiefs (10-3) have a better record than the Colts (8-5), but the game would be played at Lucas Oil Stadium because Indianapolis won the AFC South. A preview of that playoff matchup takes place Dec. 22 in Kansas City.

Shuffling line: The Colts used their fifth different starting offensive line against the Bengals. Mike McGlynn moved back into the starting lineup at guard because Jeff Linkenbach was out and Joe Reitz started for the injured Hugh Thornton at the other guard spot. The negative is that the Colts rushed for only 63 yards -- partially because they fell behind so early -- but the positive is that quarterback Andrew Luck didn’t get sacked and he passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Sunday was the first time that Luck threw four touchdown passes without an interception in a game. McGlynn is the likely candidate to go back to the bench once Thornton returns from his neck injury.

Waiting another week: Linebacker Robert Mathis will have to wait at least another week before passing Dwight Freeney as the team’s all-time sack leader. Mathis was nonexistent against the Bengals. He finished with only one assisted tackle. Sunday was only the fourth game this season that Mathis didn’t record a sack. He has 107 career sacks and trails Freeney by only half a sack for the team record

A factor in the backfield: Running back Trent Richardson gained only 20 yards on six carries, but he did have a part in the passing game. He tied his season high in catches with five for 68 yards. The Colts need to make Richardson a bigger part of their passing game because he excelled in that area last season with the Cleveland Browns. He finished his rookie season with 51 catches for 367 yards and a touchdown.

Struggles on third down: So much has been made about the defense’s inability to stop teams on third down, but the offense has its own problem converting on third down. The Colts were 2-of-10 on third down, which is a major reason why the Bengals had the ball 15 minutes more than them. Sunday marked the seventh time in the past eight games that the Colts finished the game converting fewer than 40 percent of their third-down attempts. They were 0-for-6 on third down in the first half against the Bengals.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The status of Indianapolis Colts starting cornerback Greg Toler against the Cincinnati Bengals may not be determined until Sunday.

Toler, who has missed the past five games with a groin injury, is listed as questionable. He's been limited in practice all week. Toler likely won’t play if his groin is not completely healthy because cold weather is expected in Cincinnati. The forecast projects temperatures in the 30s with possible snow.

“I think with all those guys, especially guys coming off of injury, you have a period of time where you’re out there playing and you come off and you’re sitting around,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Offense goes out and plays 10, 12 plays, whatever. If he happens to make it up at all, it certainly plays a little bit of a factor. If he’s 100 percent, he should be fine.”

Pagano said he’s yet to decide who will start at right guard in place of the injured Jeff Linkenbach (quad). Joe Reitz is the likely candidate.

Linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle) and left guard Hugh Thornton (neck) are also questionable Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS -- An already-weak offensive line could possibly be even weaker for the Indianapolis Colts when they play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Rookie left guard Hugh Thornton did not practice Wednesday because of a neck injury. Joe Reitz was working at left guard during the portion of practice that was open to the media.

Fellow guard Jeff Linkenbach, who started against Tennessee last weekend, is already out with a quad injury. The Colts are calling Linkenbach week-to-week with his injury.

Coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday that he's not sure who will start in Linkenbach's place against the Bengals. Linkenbach replaced Mike McGlynn at guard against the Titans. The Colts added Xavier Nixon to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Tuesday.

"What we'll do with the offensive line, we'll just go through the week and between Mike and Joe and Hugh, we'll just work those guys through this week," Pagano said. Have not made any final decisions on anything as far as the offensive line goes. Just go to work on correcting things we need to correct. Nixon is a swing guy. He's played both. Major outside being a swing tackle type guy. That's where we're at with the offensive line."

The offensive line has had its problems all season, but this is a bad time for the Colts to be dealing with injuries there. They need to beat the Bengals to go up one game in the race for the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Bengals are ninth in the league in sacks with 36.

"They're ranked sixth in the National Football League for good reason," Pagano said. "They got good players. Got a good front seven, good linebacking core, good in the back end."

Here's the rest of the Colts' injury report from Wednesday:
  • Cornerback Greg Toler and receiver T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) were limited in practice. Having Toler practice -- even if it was limited -- is a positive because he's missed the past five games with a groin injury.
  • Safety Sergio Brown (hand), defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (foot), linebacker Robert Mathis (rest) did not practice.

The sacks keep piling up on Andrew Luck

December, 3, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – You have to wonder if there will ever be a time when quarterback Andrew Luck won’t be able to pull himself up off the ground with all the hits and sacks continuing to pile up on the Indianapolis Colts’ franchise player.

Not even a lineup change on the offensive line could protect Luck against the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans pressured Luck all Sunday afternoon and sacked him five times, including four times in the second quarter.

The five sacks bring Luck’s total up to 29 this season. He was sacked 28 times through 12 games last season. Luck was sacked 41 times last season. He has yet to leave a game because of an injury during his two-year career.

“It’s our biggest concern right now, first and foremost,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “And that’s been since day one, since he’s stepped on campus, since we drafted him No. 1, was protect 12. And that’s never going to change.”

Pagano moved Jeff Linkenbach into the starting lineup at right guard in place of the struggling Mike McGlynn against the Titans. But now Linkenbach is out for the time being with a slight tear of his quadriceps. Pagano is calling him week to week.

Options are limited on the offensive line for the Colts. Joe Reitz, Khaled Holmes, who has been inactive most of the season, and McGlynn are the only backups on the active roster. McGlynn may end up back in the starting lineup in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Protection could be an issue against the Bengals because they are ninth in the league in sacks with 36 this season.

“From a technical standpoint, we’ll continue to work fundamentals and technique,” Pagano said. “I think right now, and again, when things start to go haywire on you a little bit and you’re struggling, the first thing that happens is you get away from your fundamentals and your technique and you start pressing. And then it just gets worse and it goes downhill even more from there. … We just got to do it better and we just got to do it on a more consistent basis.”
Donald BrownAP Photo/AJ MastDonald Brown's touchdown late in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the Colts.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Change was necessary.

It wasn't an easy task to pull off because the cupboard had limited options. But the Indianapolis Colts had to do something because things simply weren't working.

You wouldn't have known that the Colts went into Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans with a two-game lead in the AFC South by the way they had play in the four games prior.

That's what prompted the moves to be made.

All is not fixed, but when the clock struck all zeroes at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts walked off the field 22-14 winners and on the brink of winning their first division title since 2010.

"That was a backyard street brawl man," Colts defensive lineman Cory Redding said. "You got called out in your neighborhood by the biggest kid and you have to fight. And that's what it was. Both of us are a really fighting for the division...We knew it was going to be a tough division game and definitely get the bad taste out of our mouths. We never want to have one loss turn into two."

The Colts (8-4) have been ravished with injuries, including to veteran Reggie Wayne, and their play at times has left some wondering how they've managed to win eight games this season.

Here they stand with a three-game lead in the division with only four to play. The Colts can wrap things up with a victory at Cincinnati or if the Titans lose at Denver next weekend.

"We're not exhaling," coach Chuck Pagano said. "The division is not sewn up. We're going to do everything within our power to keep trending in the right direction."

Out went cornerback Cassius Vaughn. Out went guard Mike McGlynn. And out went running back Trent Richardson, further proving that the trade with Cleveland earlier this season has been a bust.

Enter cornerback Darius Butler, guard Jeff Linkenbach and running back Donald Brown.

Vaughn responded to his demotion by getting two of Indianapolis' three interceptions. Brown was held to eight yards on eight attempts until he had six carries for 46 yards and a touchdown on the Colts' final offensive series.

"We're always trying to just make decisions based on what's best for the team and what gives us the best chance to win," Pagano said. "We made a decision to give a couple guys an opportunity and move forward."

But this is only one game.

The Colts know that, too. That's why they didn't strut around the locker room after the game like all was well again.

The flaws are still there and they'd be even more glaring if future Hall-of-Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri didn't make five field goals -- four coming from at least 45 yards -- and the defense didn't force four turnovers.

The Colts will have a difficult time winning a playoff game if they continue to play like this.

"We know we can't survive our mistakes forever," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "I know it sounds a bit like a broken record, but sometimes you just got to gut a win out, no matter how ugly it is. ... We still got a lot of mistakes to clean up."

Speaking of broken records, where have you heard this before? It's a miracle that Luck is able to continue to shake off all the hits he takes during the game.

Inserting Linkenbach into the starting lineup didn't improve an offensive line that needs to be upgraded in the offseason for the second straight year. Luck was sacked five times, including four in the second quarter.

The Colts did manage to score 12 points in the first half, but they haven't scored a touchdown in the first 30 minutes of a game since tight end Coby Fleener caught an 8-yard pass from Luck in the second quarter against Denver on Oct. 20 and Indianapolis was still considered a threat in the AFC.

"We know going down the stretch here that you've got to score touchdowns and try to put people away," Pagano said. "You let people hang around, you're just asking for trouble. Great win, but we still got obviously a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but really proud of the guys, proud of the coaches, proud of the players."

And proud to be closing in on a division title.

Rapid Reaction: Indianapolis Colts

December, 1, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- A few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 22-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

What it means: It was far from a thing of beauty -- it was even ugly at times -- but the Colts control their own fate in the AFC South. The victory gives them a three-game lead over the Titans with four games left in the season. The ageless wonder Adam Vinatieri kicked five field goals and the Colts found their ground game on their final offensive series to seal the game. Running back Donald Brown had six carries for 46 yards on the drive that gave them an eight-point lead. He capped it off with a touchdown run. Brown, who replaced Trent Richardson in the starting lineup, had eight carries for 8 yards prior to the final drive.

No protection: The Colts shook up their offensive line some by moving right guard Mike McGlynn to the bench and replacing him with Jeff Linkenbach. That didn’t stop the Titans from being able to get after Andrew Luck. The Titans sacked Luck five times, including four times in the second quarter alone.

Getting defensive: The Colts also changed things up some in the secondary. Cassius Vaughn had been starting for the injured Greg Toler at cornerback, but he was replaced by Darius Butler. The demotion woke Vaughn up, as he intercepted Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick twice. Linebacker Robert Mathis added to his league lead in sacks -- 15.5 -- when he got a strip-sack of Fitzpatrick in the second half. Linebacker Jerrell Freeman iced the game when he picked off Fitzpatrick's pass in Colts territory with 24 seconds left.

Still no offense in the first half: The good news for the Colts is that they went into the half with a 12-7 lead. The bad news is that they still can’t score any touchdowns in the first half. The Colts have had 31 possessions and 153 plays in the first half of their past five games. They haven’t scored a touchdown in any of those halves.

What’s next: The Colts can clinch the AFC South if they can go on the road and beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 8.

Locker Room Buzz: Indianapolis Colts

September, 29, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Observed in the locker room after the Indianapolis Colts’ 37-3 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars:

No need for Luck: Quarterback Andrew Luck had taken every snap under center for the Colts in his young career. The streak -- 20 games counting the playoffs -- ended in the fourth quarter Sunday. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck replaced Luck for the final 4:49 of the game with the Colts leading 37-3.

Werner hurting: Colts rookie linebacker Bjoern Werner left the game in the first half with a sprained foot. Colts coach Chuck Pagano said the rookie out of Florida State is scheduled to get an MRI.

Wayne keeps rolling: Receiver Reggie Wayne had five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Wayne caught a second touchdown pass, but it was nullified because left guard Jeff Linkenbach was called for illegal use of his hands. Wayne now has nine 100-yard receiving games against the Jaguars.

Colts suddenly dealing with depth issues

September, 16, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts have gone from being a healthy team at the start of the regular season, to now having depth concerns before hitting Week 3.

Starting running back Vick Ballard went down with a season-ending knee injury in practice Sept. 12 and then starting guard Donald Thomas suffered a season-ending torn quad muscle in Sunday’s loss to Miami. Thomas is expected to have surgery later this week.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano said they feel good about the guys they currently have on the roster. But knowing general manager Ryan Grigson, he’s out looking at all possibilities. Grigson won't hesitate to use every option possible to improve the roster.

Owner Jim Irsay tweeted last week Grigson will look to make a deal before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.

“I’m glad we were able to acquire the pieces that we did through free agency and the draft last year because it brought us more depth and more competition at all spots,” Pagano said. “You hate to lose anybody. You watch any game, you pick up any box score you look stats, it happens. It’s part of the NFL. I feel good about the guys we have at those positions that filled in.”

Rookie Hugh Thornton has moved into the starting left guard spot in Thomas’ place and Ahmad Bradshaw is starting at running back for Ballard. Bradshaw was likely going to become the starter at some point this season. Ballard's injury just sped up the process. Donald Brown is backing up Bradshaw.

The Colts still have eight offensive linemen on the roster. Khaled Holmes and Jeff Linkenbach were inactive against the Dolphins.

"Guys get injured," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "It stinks when it happens. Your heart breaks when it’s Vick Ballard or Donald Thomas, really anybody, it stinks. Whether it’s last year, the head coach going down, or any year when players go down, you got to play and you can’t miss a beat.”

Pagano also said the MRI done on receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey came back negative and that he should be able to return to the field Wednesday or Thursday to get ready for Sunday’s game at San Francisco.

The Colts initially said Heyward-Bey injured his ribs, but Pagano said after the game it was his shoulder.

“I think it’s his whole backside,” Pagano said Monday when asked about the injury. “He’s got a little bit of everything.”