Colts Rumors

Marlon Mack Undergoes Surgery

Marlon Mack‘s strong third season will be put on hold for a while. The Colts running back underwent surgery Monday, per Frank Reich, and will likely be out for at least multiple games. Mack suffered a hand fracture Sunday.

The procedure will sideline Mack indefinitely, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Although this is not believed to be a season-ending setback, it’s obviously a blow for the Colts.

One of many 2017 running back draftees enjoying quality seasons, Mack leads the Colts with 862 rushing yards. The former fourth-round pick has missed six games in his career, and this will almost certainly be his third season with at least two absences. Prior to departing Sunday, Mack rushed for 109 yards on 14 carries. He finished with a Colts-best 908 in 12 games last season.

Second-year backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, and recent practice squad back Jonathan Williams, will be called upon for key work against the Texans on Thursday, with the winner of that matchup set to take sole possession of first place in the AFC South.

While Wilkins has only 162 rushing yards, he’s averaging 6.1 per carry. Hines has worked as mostly a passing-down specialist, totaling 242 receiving yards. Williams received the bulk of the work when Mack went down, with the well-traveled ex-Bills fifth-rounder rushing for 113 yards against Jacksonville.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Mack, Tagovailoa, Winston

The latest key injury updates:

  • The Colts picked up a big win over the Jaguars on Sunday, but they’ll be without a key part of their offense for at least a little while. Running back Marlon Mack fractured his hand in the win over Jacksonville, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport says that Mack won’t play on Thursday night in a key divisional game against the Texans, and that “it’s up in the air beyond that.” Mack had been the team’s workhorse on offense, regularly garnering 20+ carries. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins will both see an uptick in work in the meantime.
  • Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is done for the year with a hip injury, and there were instant fears that it could put his career in jeopardy. It’ll be a while before we know one way or the other, but the program released a new statement Sunday night that again expressed optimism. Tagovailoa is being transported to Houston to undergo surgery on his hip Monday, team surgeon Lyle Cain said in a statement, via Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News (Twitter link). Cain said that they “anticipate a full recovery,” which is great news.
  • Bengals receiver Auden Tate went down with a scary neck injury and had to be carted off the field, but fortunately it looks like he’s going to be alright. Tate had rejoined to team and was on their flight back from Oakland, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Pelissero said all tests were negative and that while he’ll be evaluated again tomorrow, “all signed” indicated that he “avoided major injury.” With A.J. Green still sidelined, Tate has been playing a huge role on offense for Cincy as they still search for their first win of the season.
  • Jameis Winston picked up a left ankle injury in the Buccaneers’ loss to the Saints, and he was limping pretty badly toward the end of the game. Speaking to the media after the loss, head coach Bruce Arians said that he was about to go to backup Ryan Griffin, and that he should’ve, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Winston was able to convince Arians to let him go back in, but the head coach apparently regretted the decision. Winston told reporters after the game that he’ll be alright moving forward.

Marlon Mack Fractures Hand

Colts running back Marlon Mack suffered a right hand fracture during today’s 33-13 win against the Jaguars, but the severity will be determined after seeing specialists early this week, sources tell NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport goes on to say that he almost certainly won’t play Thursday against the Texans, but it’s up in the air beyond that. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also confirmed that Mack did indeed fracture his right hand, and that more tests will be done this week to determine whether or not he needs surgery and how long he will miss. Schefter goes on to say that Mack will not play Thursday night.

Mack, 23, has had a strong season for the Colts, coming into today’s game having rushing for 753 yards on 178 carries with three touchdowns. He also has proven to be a reliable pass blocker for Jacoby Brissett. Prior to fracturing his hand, Mack was on his way to a huge day, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown before exiting early in the third quarter. With Jordan Wilkins also sidelined due to an ankle issue, Jonathan Williams replaced Mack as the Colts’ early-down back in the game.

If Wilkins misses more time, Williams will most likely will step into that role come Thursday. In Mack’s absence, the former Buffalo fifth-round draft pick played well, rushing for 116 yards on 13 carries, while also making one reception for 31 yards.

Steelers To Sign WR Deon Cain Off Colts’ Practice Squad

Prior to Thursday night’s ugly conclusion in Cleveland, the Steelers lost multiple wide receivers to injuries. They will respond by adding wideout Deon Cain from the Colts’ practice squad, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson — Pittsburgh’s Nos. 1-2 wideouts this season — suffered concussions during the Week 11 loss to the Browns. The Steelers will add Cain, whom the Colts recently viewed as a player who could be a reliable target.

The Colts cut Cain last week but were able to pass him through waivers and onto their practice squad. They opted not to promote him again and will see him head to Pittsburgh. Indianapolis drafted Cain in the sixth round out of Clemson in 2018 and were pleased with his early development, but an ACL tear during his initial training camp threw that development off course. This season, Cain could not gain a foothold in Indianapolis’ depleted receiving corps, catching just four passes for 52 yards in seven games.

Down James Conner again, the Steelers also signed running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. off the Bears’ practice squad. Chicago drafted White in the seventh round this year. They will make room for these additions with cuts of edge defender Jayrone Elliott and running back Tony Brooks-James.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/14/19

Today’s practice squad updates:

Baltimore Ravens

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived from PS-IR: RB Bruce Anderson

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: C John Keenoy

Colts Designate Devin Funchess For Return

The Colts have designated wide receiver Devin Funchess to return from injured reserve, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Funchess suffered a broken collarbone during his Indianapolis debut in Week 1, but the Colts had been holding out hope that he’d be able to return to the field late in the regular season. While Funchess is back at practice as of Wednesday, head coach Frank Reich said this week that Funchess needs to prove his health before he returns to game action.

“Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said. “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.”

The Colts signed Funchess to a one-year, $10MM deal in March after he spent the first four years of his career with the Panthers. The only free agent receiver who collected more on an annual basis this offseason was Tyrell Williams, who inked a four-year, $44.4MM pact with the Raiders. In his stint with Carolina, Funchess averaged 40 receptions, 558 yards, and five touchdowns per season.

When he does officially return, Funchess will join a Colts wide receiver depth chart by T.Y. Hilton, who is currently battling injury himself. Indianapolis has made heavy use of its tight ends in the passing game this season, leaving Zach Pascal as the only Colts wideout besides Hilton with more than 20 receptions on the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/13/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: C Nate Trewyn

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Read more

Colts To Stick With Adam Vinatieri?

The Colts are looking at kickers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to make a change. The plan is to stick with Adam Vinatieri, coach Frank Reich says (Twitter link via Stephen Holder of The Athletic).

Adam is our kicker. Chris and I have talked about the situation. Obviously there have been other kickers in here,” Reich said. “When you take a look, we believe Adam is the answer.”

Vinatieri, 46, has missed six extra points and five field goals this season. His woes have cost them games, including Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins.

Still, Vinatieri is a future Hall of Famer with a resume full of Super Bowl rings and clutch kicks. The Colts, clearly, are keeping some options in the back pocket but Vinatieri’s job is safe – for now.

Vinatieri will look to get back on the right track on Sunday when the Colts take on the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. Then, it’s a short week for the Colts as they face the Texans in Houston on Thursday night.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Devin Funchess To Return To Practice

  • Some good news out of Indy: Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters that wideout Devin Funchess should return to practice this week. “Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said (via Jim Ayello of the Indy Star). “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.” Funchess landed on the IR after breaking his collarbone during the season opener.

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