While the Indianapolis Colts received some positive news on the injury front at cornerback with Darius Butler’s return, the team is once again shorthanded at safety, as both Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green’s availability for Sunday is in serious jeopardy.
Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (15) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive back Patrick Robinson (25) and free safety T.J. Green (32) in the first quarter of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
The encouraging news is that nickelback Darius Butler was physically able to participate in Wednesday’s practice, albeit on a limited basis. However, the bad news is that the team looks very thin at starting safety alongside Mike Adams, as both Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green‘s status for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos is in significant doubt.
Between the two, Geathers looks the closer to playing, as head coach Chuck Pagano said he was supposed to practice on a limited basis Wednesday before missing all together for personal reasons (i.e. the birth of a child). However, his overall game conditioning remains a major concern, having not played during training camp or any of the team’s preseason games.
On the other hand, Green (‘week-to-week’) looks a bit further away from actually being able to contribute:
TJ Green says he can run on his injured knee, but pain comes when he tries to move laterally. Docs told him it's a day-to-day thing.
In their absence, the Colts would presumably play either Winston Guy or Matthias Farley in more extended snaps at safety alongside Adams. However, if Butler’s healthy enough, the team could also try him out at safety, where he had some limited reps in training camp due to injuries at the position.
Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano talks to Indianapolis Colts strong safety Mike Adams (29) and defensive back Matthias Farley (41) during a timeout in the second half of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. the Detroit Lions beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 39-35. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Either way though, the Colts are clearly thin in their secondary.
Otherwise, it seems like the majority of the veterans (with the exception of Davis and Robinson) were largely held out because of rest/recovery precautions. Davis isn’t expected to play at all, whereas Robinson is still in the league’s concussion protocol.
There hasn’t been much change from prior weeks except Reitz’ name on the injury list would be a big blow to the Colts offensive line if he can’t go at starting right tackle–given the Colts are playing a ferocious Denver Broncos pass rush led by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
Reitz didn’t play overly well last week against the Detroit Lions, but he has proven starting experience and the Colts could sorely use it facing such a tough defensive matchup.