It’s playoff time baby! The Bills enter the postseason healthy, but two marquee receivers headline the injury report. Don’t fear fans, the Bills are still going to give you all those thrills and chills come Saturday. Make sure to read on for a rundown on what the Indianapolis Colts are dealing with on the injury front.
WR Cole Beasley: Cole went down with a non-contact knee injury in the Patriots’ game in Week 16. He was DNP for almost the entire past two weeks but was able to return to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday. Cole is either dealing with a strain on his patellar tendon, a knee cap issue, or a mild torn meniscus. All of these injuries need a minimum of 2-4 weeks. Will Cole gut it out? Very close call here. If he’s active, I would expect an extremely low snap count and limited effectiveness. We all saw the images of the team dancing at practice, but I think it was interesting to note Cole stood off to the side. We also elevated Duuuuke from the practice squad. I don’t think it’s worth rostering him this week, as he needs more rest, but next week should and will be a different story. I’d love to be wrong here.
WR Stefon Diggs: Listed with an ‘oblique’ injury, Diggs had a DNP on Wednesday with limited participations sandwiched around it. I’m pretty confident his injury occurred when he sustained an awkward tackle when the Dolphins were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the hit. I’m sure it is feeling better, as he was dancing around with his arms up in practice. The only issue I see with this is causing discomfort in acrobatic catches, which in theory, could shrink his catch radius. Regardless, this first-team All-Pro will be suited up Saturday.
TE Reggie Gilliam: Reggie played 14% of snaps in the Week 15 win over the Broncos. This was his par for course recently. He never left the game in pain but was last seen on a run block in the 4th quarter. He either had a minor sprain/strain that flared up postgame or a re-aggravation of a previous injury. He had been shut down with DNPs for two straight weeks. However, he returned to practice as a full participant all week and will be suiting up for the playoffs.
WR Isaiah McKenzie: Fresh off his highest snap count of the season (91%) and a TD hat trick, Isaiah was listed with an ‘ankle’ this week. Unknown when or how the injury occurred, as he did finish the game. He was limited for two days and a full participant on Thursday. Isaiah will suit up and likely with no apparent limitation.
G Jon Feliciano: Jon is an unbreakable force. After coming back from a pec repair very quickly, he has persevered through a myriad of injuries this season. Most recently, he landed on the report this week for a ‘knee’. He was a full participant all week. He looked to have been rolled up on during the Dolphins’ game but remained in the game. My guess is a very mild MCL sprain or a contusion. Not a major issue for the Colts’ game, but it could get re-aggravated.
TE Tyler Kroft and RB TJ Yeldon have been activated. However, they may still be inactive based on current gameday roster trends.
Matt Milano was able to ramp up to a 100% snap count in the Week 16 matchup against the Patriots. He only played 55% of snaps in Week 17, but this was due to starters coming out. He is locked and loaded for full-time status for the playoffs.
Last week, John Brown played in his first game since Week 10. He played in 30 snaps and came out at halftime with the rest of the starters. He appears as healthy as he was early in the season, but he did come up a little gimpy on his TD catch. For that reason, I still believe he plays a normal starter share in the playoffs, but he is highly susceptible to an injury.
Let’s take a quick look at who the Colts have on the IR, as this is important to understand as background information. Early in the season they lost their starting safety and running back: Malik Hooker and Marlon Mack. Then, late in the season, they have lost their starting WR, T, and backup T; Parris Campbell, Anthony Castonzo, and Le’Raven Clark. Also sitting out will be their 3rd string RB, Jordan Wilkins.
Currently, on their injury report, they have another backup T, Will Holden, listed as OUT. Also OUT, is their boundary CB, Rock Ya-Sin. Their QUESTIONABLE designation is for their All-Pro defensive lineman, DeForest Buckner. Buckner injured his ankle in practice leading up to Week 15 and still balled out with three sacks. Since this time, he has had multiple days with DNP during their practice week. Buckner had a documented ankle injury during his time with the 49ers as well. For Saturday, he will be ACTIVE.
Other notable listed injured players for the Colts’ who will be active include QB Phillip Rivers (toe), CB TJ Carrie (ankle/shoulder), RB Jonathan Taylor (shoulder), S Khari Willis (concussion).
To review, the Colts’ are most limited at their OT situation. They have lost their starter, Castonzo, and multiple backups. They most likely will be starting the veteran journeyman, Jared Veldheer, at LT this week. He played last week for 100% of the snaps at LT. Another option for them is Chaz Green, who has been a turnstile at LT, as he deals with back ailments all year. As for the CB situation, Rock Ya-Sin was not getting as much playing time lately, so may not be a big drop-off with TJ Carrie starting. However, depth will be an issue though if anyone goes down in the secondary for the Bills’ game. Having their safety Khari Willis is good news for the Colts’, and the Rivers and Taylor injuries are most likely mild sprains that will not limit them.