Indianapolis Colts: NFL Injury Wire

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robert Mathis sightings around the Indianapolis Colts' facility during the media portion were pretty rare during the season.

There was no reason for linebacker to be in the locker room since he was out for the season with a torn Achilles, but you also wondered how his rehabilitation was going and if he would be ready for the start of training camp in July.

“No, he’s still in recovery,” general manager Ryan Grigson said when asked if he’s confident Mathis will be ready for training camp. “He’s a freak and you hope that he has an athletic genetic freak type of recovery so that he’s ready day one of training camp. But that information is not clear yet or a timeline is not there because it’s a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we’ll be able to have some information on that.”

The Colts definitely missed Mathis' pass-rush skills. He had 19.5 sacks in 2013. Rookie Jonathan Newsome led the team with just 6.5 sacks this season.

“Obviously having [Mathis] out was a big hole,” Grigson said. “But we don’t make excuses. That stuff gets forgotten and it should because a lot of teams win without key players. The next man up is for real. We found a way to still get pressure and play without his presence, but it makes it a heck of a lot harder, I promise you that. Just having him out on the field, even if he didn’t get out of his stance, it’s still going to command two blockers or more. That completely changes the complexion of a game just having him physically out there.

Here’s what ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell said when I asked her about a timetable on returning from a torn Achilles back in September.

“We see the 6-9 month return thrown around a lot ... Once the repair is solid and you have the basic range of motion back, then you start increasing the load on the tendon in that 3-6 month window. That’s usually tough with athletes in that recovery. You restricted your motions for a while and now you’re really working to get it back and start loading up the tendon. You’re going from being very protective to be more aggressive and that transition part is hard. The final stage after that is getting back into game shape.”
INDIANAPOLIS – Colts cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Greg Toler are listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game at New England on Sunday, coach Chuck Pagano said Friday.

Davis and Toler were both limited in practice for the second straight day.

“We’re just taking care of them,” Pagano said. “We’re just trying to make the best decisions to get them to Sunday healthy and ready to go. So it wouldn’t be wise to do certain things right now and risk that.”

When asked if he expects Davis and Toler to play Sunday, Pagano said, “Absolutely.”

The Colts are healthy otherwise heading into Sunday’s game.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts backup running back Trent Richardson is questionable for Sunday’s playoff game against Cincinnati after missing practice with an illness.

Richardson, who has been a disappointment in his time with the Colts, lost his starting job for the second straight season in Week 16 to Daniel Herron. Richardson rushed for 519 yards and three touchdowns on 159 carries this season.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano ruled out starting right guard Hugh Thornton (shoulder) for the game and said offensive line A.Q. Shipley (ankle) is doubtful Sunday.

Lance Louis will likely start at right guard and Joe Reitz will start at right tackle in place of Gosder Cherilus, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts will be without three starters in Sunday’s game at Tennessee. Coach Chuck Pagano ruled out tight end Dwayne Allen (knee), right tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin) and linebacker Bjoern Werner (shoulder) on Friday.

Coby Fleener will start at tight end, Joe Reitz, who is listed as questionable, will likely start at right tackle if he plays, but Pagano, as he often does, wouldn’t reveal who will start at linebacker in Werner’s spot.

Pagano will go rookie Jonathan Newsome, Shaun Phillips or Andy Studebaker as the rush linebacker.

Here’s the rest of the Colts’ injury report for Sunday’s game:

Questionable: Linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring)

Probable: Defensive lineman Cory Redding (knee), guard Hugh Thornton (knee), linebacker Erik Walden (knee)
INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a possibility that the Indianapolis Colts could have a new starter on the offensive line against the Houston Texans on Thursday night.

No, not at center (unless coach Chuck Pagano changes his mind again before Thursday), but at guard.

Hugh Thornton did not practice Tuesday because of a back injury suffered in last weekend’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

The options to start if Thornton doesn't play aren’t as deep, with Lance Louis starting in place of the injured Jack Mewhort (ankle) at the other guard spot.

Joe Reitz and A.Q. Shipley, who recently lost his starting job at center, are two options at guard. Pagano didn’t say who would start if Thornton doesn’t play against the Texans.

Here’s the rest of Colts’ practice report:

Did not practice: Cornerback Darius Butler (ankle), defensive lineman Arthur Jones (ankle), receiver Reggie Wayne (rest)

Limited practice: Linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring)
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts center Khaled Holmes won’t be on the practice field until Wednesday at the earliest, according to Colts coach Chuck Pagano.

“He’s working with the trainers right now,” Pagano said. “They’ve had him on the grass some. I don’t anticipate him doing anything other than work with our medical staff still on Sunday and Monday. Kind of keeping our fingers crossed and hopeful he’ll be out there ready to get some snaps on Wednesday is the goal.”

Holmes sprained his ankle in the preseason opener against the New York Jets on Aug. 7. Wednesday would be the first time he has practiced since the injury.

There’s still no guarantee that Holmes will be ready for the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 7.

“You just have to take it day-by-day, see how he progresses,” Pagano said. “If he’s able to get out there Wednesday and see, post practice and then the next day, how he comes in and how he reacts to the work. That’ll just be day-to-day.”

Holmes’ backup, Jonotthan Harrison, did not play against the Cincinnati Bengals because of an injured thumb. Rookie Jack Mewhort slid over from guard and started at center against the Bengals.

“We’ll make no excuses,” Pagano said. “Whoever we go out to Denver with, we’re going to line up and they’ll compete and they’ll play at a high level.”
The Indianapolis Colts should find out the severity of starting center Khaled Holmes' ankle injury on Friday.

Holmes will likely miss some time because of the injury, leaving the Colts in the position of having to find a new starter on the offensive line for the second time in less than three weeks since training camp started. Starting guard Donald Thomas was lost for the season with a torn quad July 31.

"It’s awful early, too," coach Chuck Pagano said after Thursday’s preseason game against the New York Jets. "By the second quarter, we’re down two on the O-line. And you talk about Donald Thomas, yeah we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’ll get home and we’ll assess the damage, see the extent of those injuries and make the necessary moves that we have to make."

As far as internal options at center, the Colts put rookie Jonotthan Harrison in after Holmes went down. The rookie out of Florida had two bad snaps early, including one that stalled their impressive opening drive, before settling down.

"I mean he’s never played an NFL snap, and before you know it -- we hadn’t planned to put him in until the second half and he’s in there in the first drive -- so I think just listening, watching, I think he rose up to the challenge," Pagano said. “Again, the snaps, we’ll get that fixed. That’s just something -- young guys are going to make mistakes -- so we’ll get that fixed.”

Another option if needed is to slide rookie Jack Mewhort over from guard to center and insert veteran Lance Louis, a former starter in Chicago, at guard.

The Colts, right now, are hoping they won’t be without Holmes for an extended period of time.

Heyward-Bey ruled out against Patriots

January, 10, 2014
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Darrius Heyward-Bey will be best remembered as a former top-10 pick who started the season as the Indianapolis Colts’ No. 2 receiver, was demoted, became a special-teams ace and missed the team’s last game of the season -- unless the Colts beat the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional playoff game Saturday.

Heyward-Bey has been ruled out of the game against the Patriots because of a hamstring injury, which happened in the wild-card game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Don’t get me wrong, Heyward-Bey is a nice guy. It’s hard not to like him. He’s very polite and he has some clever riddles that always seem to stump you. Those were supposed to be added bonuses Heyward-Bey brought to the Colts this season. But his play on the field was the focal point.

Unfortunately his niceness overshadowed his on-the-field production.

Heyward-Bey hasn’t caught a pass since the Cincinnati game on Dec. 8. That was four games ago. He caught his lone touchdown against Denver on Oct. 20. Reggie Wayne was still playing then.

I’m sure Heyward-Bey wants his teammates to beat the Patriots for more than one reason: to advance to the AFC Championship Game and so that he can play another game with the Colts -- if his hamstring improves -- as the two sides will likely part ways once the season ends.

LaRon Landry (concussion) practices

January, 8, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts starting safety LaRon Landry took a step toward playing in Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots when he was a full participant in practice Wednesday.

The hard-hitting safety suffered a concussion in the second half of last weekend’s wild-card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’s uncertain if Landry has passed both NFL-mandated protocols or just the one that clears him to practice. If the latter is the case, he’ll have to pass another protocol that clears him to play in the game. Landry declined comment after practice Wednesday and coach Chuck Pagano won’t address the media until Thursday.

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of Wednesday’s injury report for the Colts

Did Not Practice
NT Aubrayo Franklin: Rest
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: Hamstring

OL Khaled Holmes: Calf

S LaRon Landry: Concussion
LB Josh McNary: Concussion

Colts could be thin in the secondary

January, 6, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts should have better indication on where things stand with their injured secondary sometime Monday when they get a medical update on cornerback Greg Toler.

Toler left the game in the first half of Saturday’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs with a groin injury. Safety LaRon Landry suffered a concussion in the second half. He has to pass the NFL’s concussion protocol before he’s cleared to play.

Toler injured the groin when he was defending Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe on a slant pattern that went for 63 yards on Kansas City’s second offensive series.

“He chased him down and went for the strip and just twisted and fell wrong,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “I think he aggravated that thing on that play. Felt like he was okay, tough, tough kid. Didn’t want to let his teammates down and all that stuff. Then obviously that thing wasn’t right.”

Toler remained in the game for one more series but left after former Colt Donnie Avery blew by him for a 79-yard touchdown reception.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Toler didn’t play against New England on Saturday because he missed seven games with a groin injury during the regular season.

“It’s a shame because he’s worked his tail off to try to get back and help this team,” Pagano said. “Hopefully we’ll still have him available.”

Pagano explained his decision to put cornerback Cassius Vaughn on the inactive list against the Chiefs despite Toler and Vontae Davis both recently dealing with groin injuries.

“It was obviously an extremely difficult one,” Pagano said. “There were a lot of things that play into that. We got some guys back. This week was very, very difficult. That was a very difficult decision that we had to make but we had such, as far as the D-line went, we’ve been going with five. But with Ricky (Jean Francois) just coming off of injury, Aubrayo (Franklin) had a knee, Cory (Redding) had a shoulder. We really felt like it was nothing that Cassius did. It was really just looking at the D-line depth and we felt like we needed six bodies there instead of five just because of the health of that group.”

Colts at healthiest since Week 7

January, 3, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- The only thing that would be better is if Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen, Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard and Donald Thomas dressed for Saturday's playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

That possibility ended months ago, but the Indianapolis Colts are still in the position to have their healthiest roster since Week 7 against the Denver Broncos.

Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (knee) and defensive end Fili Moala (knee) are the only two players listed as questionable for the game. The other 10 on the team's injury report, which includes starting cornerback Vontae Davis and defensive end Cory Redding, are listed as probable.

The Colts have come a long way from having to bring players up from the practice squad to piece together the offensive line.

Don't be surprised if this is what the starting line looks like Saturday:

Tackles: Anthony Castonzo, Gosder Cherilus

Guards: Hugh Thornton, Mike McGlynn

Center: Samson Satele

McGlynn is a better center than guard and he's a better center than Satele.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts had their top cornerbacks on the practice field Wednesday, a day after only having three available in Tuesday's practice.

Cornerbacks Vontae Davis (groin), Darius Butler (quad) and Greg Toler (groin) were full participants in practice, giving an indication that the Colts could have a healthy group for Saturday’s wild-card playoff matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Davis injured his groin in last weekend’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“They still have to get their feet under them,” Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. “They looked pretty good [at practice Wednesday]. Still evaluating and see how it goes come Saturday.”

The Colts are becoming healthy at the right time.

Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (knee) and defensive end Fili Moala (knee) were the only two players not to practice Wednesday. Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) was limited in practice.
INDIANAPOLIS – The trend has gotten to the point that it's not if Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano will announce that they will have a different starting offensive line, but what the line will look like when they play.

That’s the case again this weekend, as the Colts will start their sixth different offensive line in as many weeks against the Jacksonville Jaguars and their eighth different one of the season.

Guard Mike McGlynn, who didn’t practice all week, is doubtful for the game.

“In the National Football League, nothing surprises you,” Pagano said. “Every day you show up is an adventure.”

In typical Pagano fashion, the coach didn’t reveal who he plans to start in McGlynn’s spot. The Colts have options on who to start on the offensive line for the first time in weeks.

Joe Reitz has been cleared to play after passing his final concussion test Friday. There’s Jeff Linkenbach, who has missed the past three games with a quadriceps injury, or Pagano can turn to Xavier Nixon, whose lead block opened up the hole on Donald Brown’s 51-yard touchdown run against the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend.

The offensive line has played well recently. The Colts have rushed for 287 yards in the past two games and quarterback Andrew Luck has only been sacked twice in the past three games.

Defensive end Cory Redding (shoulder) and safety Sergio Brown (groin) are also doubtful for Sunday.

Here’s a rundown of the rest of the injured players from Friday:

Out: Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (foot)

Questionable: Safety Antoine Bethea (ankle)

Probable: Cornerback Darius Butler (quad), cornerback Vontae Davis (groin), safety LaRon Landry (rest), linebacker Robert Mathis (rest), guard Hugh Thornton (neck) and cornerback Greg Toler (groin)

Bethea, Redding miss practice

December, 26, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts were without several key players in practice Thursday.

Safety Antoine Bethea (ankle), safety and special teams ace Sergio Brown (groin), defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (foot), offensive lineman Mike McGlynn (elbow) and defensive end Cory Redding (shoulder) did not practice.

Bethea injured his ankle in the third quarter of last Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He said he doesn’t believe the injury will force him to miss the regular-season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It may not be a bad idea if the Colts held him out against the Jaguars since the playoffs start the following weekend.

McGlynn, who has played well in recent weeks, could miss Sunday’s game because of his elbow injury.

Redding walked on to the practice during the media portion wearing sweats and some type of contraption on his shoulder under his T-shirt. He injured his shoulder trying to tackle Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Like Bethea, resting Redding may be the best way to go.

The Colts still have something to play for Sunday. They could finish between the No. 2 and 4 seed in the playoffs depending on the outcome of their game and what happens in games involving New England and Cincinnati. It helps the Colts that they're facing the Jaguars (4-11) if Bethea or Redding don’t play.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano will have a better indication of who will play Sunday when he addresses the media after practice Friday.
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.