The Colts home opener last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings was a game Colts fans have been longing for since the 2011 season. The Colts pulled out a 23-20 victory in the final seconds against the Vikings thanks to veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri and the special teams squad. With the team morale high, the Colts head into week three looking for another win and a 1-0 start in the AFC South division.
This Sunday, the Colts face fellow AFC opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, in their second of third home game streak at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Despite having a lengthy injury list, the Colts overall outlook for week three looks fairly good at this point. The Colts are still without veteran line backer Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie. Collie had potential to play in last week’s game against the Vikings, but ended up playing it safe and sitting out another game.
Indianapolis is also without right tackle Winston Justice and center Samson Satele. Justice suffered a concussion in the September 9 game against the Bears while Satele suffered a knee injury on Sunday and is expected to miss Sunday’s game unless things turn around in the next couple of days. In order to replace offensive players, the Colts are likely going to do some shuffling on the o line. Backup center Mike McGlynn is expected to replace Satele while Justice returns at right tackle and recent addition Trai Essex fills in at right guard for McGlynn.
Coach Chuck Pagano stated at his daily press conference Wednesday that Freeney is “day-to-day” and that he expects him to sit on the sidelines until the Colts face Green Bay on October 7. He also mentioned that Collie and Justice have participated in practice this week, though the medical staff will likely have the final say so in whether or not they see play time on Sunday.
Fortunately for the Colts, the Jags are currently at the bottom of the list when it comes to total yards so far this season. Last week against the Texans, the team only racked up 117 total yards. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert went 7-19 and only threw for 53 yards, as compared to Andrew Luck who went 20-31 and threw for 224 yards. Gabbert has only played in the NFL one season longer than Luck, but with numbers like that, Luck looks like he’s been in the game for years.
After Jacksonville’s poor performance last week, Gabbert has been claimed as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Gabbert was even benched for part of his rookie season and was replaced by the backup quarterback. In that regard, Luck is going to look like he’s on the same level as his predecessor, Peyton Manning.