“I think he feels better today,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday. “Looks like we would have Andre Johnson back for Sunday.”
On December 7, Johnson suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in Jacksonville. After failing to clear the league’s concussion protocol, Johnson was inactive in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Colts. Week 16's matchup actually isn't a bad one as the Ravens are 28th in allowing fantasy points to WRs. But the Texans QB situation is very much up in the air right now and will likely limit Johnson's value this week.
Early thinking is yes, [DeMarco Murray] plays in Week 16].
It's not an official word from the team but Broaddus does cover the Cowboys. He was asked in a tweet what the early indications are around Cowboys camp regarding Murray playing vs. the Colts. Right now Dallas is just playing wait-and-see with Murray and unfortunately owners must do the same. Injury Expert Russell Manalastas said Monday, "I'm not sure it's realistic to assume Murray will be back from hand surgery this Sunday, but stranger things have happened. The severity of the fracture and what type of procedure they perform will ultimately determine his availability this week and moving forward."
The first, and most obvious, is the Colts' considerable lack of depth at running back. Trent Richardson and Dan Herron are joined only by undrafted rookie Zurlon Tipton from Central Michigan, currently the third running back. The Colts, like most teams in today's NFL, prefer to play a rotation of running backs. With Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, there aren't a lot of options.
Arguing for more carries for Herron is one thing – he's been more productive – but to suggest that he alone handle all the carries, when he has no history of being an every-down running back, is a stretch.
But there's a much bigger reason behind the Colts' rationale to stick with Richardson. And it has little to do with running the football. Richardson is the best pass-blocking running back the Colts have, a distinction that greatly increases his worth to the coaching staff.
You might not value this quality in your favorite team's running back, but quarterbacks do not share your opinion.
While it's just one opinion, it makes a lot of sense. Protecting one of the top QBs in the league is key to the Colts success and playoff future, and if Richardson has the best ability to keep Luck upright, he's going to be on the field. That could mean on the field in key third down situations, which obviously would limit Herron's pass-catching numbers. Both Herron and Richardson had two receptions last week.
The Indianapolis Colts had a bit of good news today, when it was reported that the team received a clean bill of health regarding wide receiver T.Y. Hilton‘s sore hamstring. The 3rd-year wideout apparently tweaked his hamstring in Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans. He received the results of his MRI today, which came back with positive results.
While it wasn’t visibly noticeable during the game, Hilton was fairly quiet after catching 3 passes in the 1st quarter. Perhaps, it was a direct result of his hamstring injury, as he finished with just 4 receptions for 50 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns, the story pointed out. He looks promising for a game in Dallas in Week 16, but we first have to see if he can practice this week. The team is hoping he can by Wednesday or Thursday.
Per the tweet, Murray is not ruled out for next week - at least not yet. Jones was quoted in a story as saying, "It's probably a tough expectation to think that he can [play], but we'll see." Jones made it seem like even if he responds well to surgery, it may be a long shot Murray suits up in a friendly matchup at home with the Colts. Joseph Randle is averaging 7.0 YPC on 34 carries thus far this season, and is the favorite to take over most of Murray's carries. Lance Dunbar is the better pass-catcher, so he'd likely take on most of Murray's work in the receiving game. If Murray misses the game, Randle would likely be ranked in the top 20-25 in standard formats, while Dunbar would have some PPR appeal.
From our Injury Expert Russell Manalastas:
4th metacarpal fractures can be difficult to return from due to the potential swelling from both the fracture and from the surgery to address the fracture. Location is also important as well, as often times metacarpal fractures are addressed non-operatively. My first guess is that they are going to pin the fracture to allow it to heal properly. The metacarpals are really important in the hand to help with gripping activities, so the concern here is his ability to grip the football.
I'm not sure it's realistic to assume Murray will be back from hand surgery this Sunday, but stranger things have happened. The severity of the fracture and what type of procedure they perform will ultimately determine his availability this week and moving forward. If he does play, he'll have heavy padding around the fracture to help reduce the load on the fracture, with the option to primarily use just his right hand for carrying the ball.
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has remained free of injury despite a heavy workload this season, but he injured his hand late in the proceedings and needed to have x-rays done after the game. Murray revealed no concern to reporters after doctors took a look.
“Good, good. I’ll be all right,” Murray said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
His production on the other hand did take a marked plunge after a strong start to the game.
Hilton didn't shed anymore info on the injury other than he was quoted as saying he's scheduled for an MRI. It's perhaps at least a little good news at this point in the week that he remained in the game but could be a reason for a drop in fantasy production.
Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured on a scramble and was carted off the field with a boot on his left leg in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to the Colts. His leg is broken, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, per a team source. His season is over.
Rookie Tom Savage entered the game and completed his first NFL pass to DeAndre Hopkins after avoiding the pressure. But on the second-to-last play of the game, Savage took a hit to his lower leg. Rapoport later add, per a team source, that the QB will have an MRI on Monday. The fourth-round pick would take over a Texans offense that has already lost Ryan Mallett this season. Thaddeus Lewis is the next QB up on the depth chart
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 11:16am
After the game it was revealed that the veteran has been dealing with torn triceps. While it's been suggested that Wayne rest until the playoffs and allow the younger guns to carry the load, the veteran said Friday the injury wasn't affecting his play.
"If I'm out there playing, I'm good," he said, per the Indy Star.
When Wayne suits up on Sunday it will mark his 209th game as an Indianapolis Colt, breaking Peyton Manning's franchise record. The receiver's streak of 82 straight games with at least three catches came to an end last week, but his consecutive games with at least one reception remains alive.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 15. Foster appears to be all systems go for a good matchup against the Colts. He has averaged 123 rushing yards and 1.0 TD in his last three games against Indianapolis.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (not injury related, probable) returned to take full practice reps Friday after missing practice Thursday and is probable for Week 15. Hilton will be fine for a great matchup against Houston. In his last five games against the Texans, Hilton has averaged 6.2-122-1.2. That’s 25.6 fantasy points in PPR formats.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related) missed practice Friday. Wayne will likely play despite a torn triceps. He’s not an appealing play given his recent production. We prefer Donte Moncrief at this point.
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 6:32pm
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (not injury related) was added to the injury report Thursday after missing practice. Hilton should be fine for a great matchup against Houston. In his last five games against the Texans, Hilton has averaged 6.2-122-1.2. That’s 25.6 fantasy points in PPR formats.
Davis practiced Wednesday, albeit with a non-contact red jersey, because he's still going through the NFL's concussion protocol. He missed last weekend's game against the Cleveland Browns because he still hadn't been cleared from the concussion suffered against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 30. The plan, according to coach Chuck Pagano, is for Davis to practice again Thursday.
This is important because it will impact the Houston receivers. Davis covered Andre Johnson for most of the previous matchup, but that was before Hopkins established himself as the Texans' top receiver. Johnson is recovering from his own concussion and is iffy for Sunday. if he's out, Davis will very likely spend a lot of time covering Hopkins.
Colts HC Chuck Pagano on how much HC Reggie Wayne has left:
“I know he’s got more. How much that is? I don’t know how much that is, but I know he’s got more. He’ll deliver. He’ll be back.”
Following the game on Sunday, Pagano on Colts postgame radio said that Wayne was playing through a “torn tri” that he suffered in the Cincinnati game earlier this season. On Monday, Pagano reiterated that Wayne is battling through nagging injuries.
Against Cleveland, Wayne had just one reception in eight targets and did drop a few balls he might normally catch if healthy. He’s averaged three receptions for 37 yards in the games since his elbow/tri injuries as T.Y. Hilton has really emerged. Wayne’ s presence within the Colts offense is still key and Pagano clearly feels that No. 87 will continue to make plays for this team. Sunday would mark the 209th career game for Wayne, breaking the Colts franchise record.