Colts Friday Notebook: Kemoko Turay Unlikely To Play In Week Two
Colts Friday Notebook: Kemoko Turay Unlikely To Play In Week Two
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INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time since 2004, the Colts are opening up the regular season with two straight road trips.
It’s a much shorter plane flight this week as the Colts (0-1) head to Nashville to take on the Titans (1-0) on Sunday afternoon.
The Colts have ruled out DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee) and RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs) for a second straight week, and it's not looking great for DE-Kemoko Turay (neck) playing in Week Two.
Here are some tidbits from the final practice of the week for the Colts:
- Defensive end Kemoko Turay (neck) missed all three days of practice this week and is unlikely to play on Sunday. Frank Reich said Turay will be a game-time decision for Week Two, but he’s listed as ‘doubtful’ which is almost always an indicator of a player being inactive for that game. Last week, Turay practiced just Wednesday and was then limited on Thursday. Turay was questionable in Week One, but played (and was effective) with a prominent role on third down coming off the edge. It’s very rare for a guy to miss all 3 days of practice, like Turay has this week, and still play that Sunday. Turay is a key ingredient to this defense, as he provides a unique trait with his speed off the edge, especially with the Titans missing left tackle Taylor Lewan. If Turay can’t play, it is a notable loss and means rookie Ben Banogu will be counted on heavily when third downs roll around. In the season opener, Turay played 23 snaps (finishing with 1 sack/forced fumble, with another one being nullified by an offsides penalty on Justin Houston). Banogu logged 27 snaps and had 1 sack. Al-Quadin Muhammad started for Jabaal Sheard and played 39 snaps.
- Looking for any tells on how Vinny might kick on Sunday? In his career, Vinny is 23-of-27 (85.2 percent) in road games against the Titans. That average is slightly above his career mark of 84.1%. Frank Reich said Vinatieri “looked great” in practice this week, making a 64-yarder and a 60-yarder. Vinny kicked on Wednesday and Friday this past week, compared to just one day of kicking last week.
- Something to watch on Sunday will be the stamina for guys on both sidelines. It’s going to be a hot one in Nashville, with temps expected to be in the low-to-mid 90s. How will that impact the conditioning of each team’s 46-man game day rosters? Will the Colts be able to use a similar approach as to what we saw in Week One? Or, pound the football, and try to eventually find consistent production in the run game by wearing down the Tennessee defense. Of course, the Titans will likely employ a similar game plan. We saw the heat this week in Indy force a couple of Colts out of practice early on Thursday afternoon.
- One thing to monitor on Monday is what happens to Chad Kelly? The two-week suspension for Kelly will end on Sunday. The Colts can do a couple of things: 1. Promote Kelly to the 53-man active roster, and then cut a player to make room for him. 2. Expose Kelly to waivers, thus allowing any team around the league to claim him to their 53-man roster. If Kelly passes through waivers, the Colts could then bring him back to the practice squad. 3. Let Kelly walk and not bring him back. We should have an answer to all of this early next week. Of course, injuries around the league (and to the Colts) will dictate some things on where Kelly possibly lands for next week. Kelly has been in the building, working out and attending meetings, but not practicing, during his two-game suspension. “Just following the rules as far as being in the building and being in meetings, stay mentally tuned into it,” Reich said of Kelly’s work the past two weeks. “So when it comes time to make a decision, he’s ready to go.” That decision will come Sunday/Monday. Given how important quarterback depth is for the Colts, and with no more Phillip Walker around, you have to think Kelly is of some value to the Colts moving forward.
- Will we see DT-Tyquan Lewis make his 2019 debut on Sunday? Lewis was a healthy scratch in Week One. He’s practiced fully again this week. “He’s had a good week of practice,” Reich of Lewis on Friday. “We’ll have to see how everything plays out over the next couple of days. But I think he’s progressed well.” With Turay doubutful, that could very well impact if (or how much) Lewis will be needed in Week Two. . He’s practiced fully again this week. “He’s had a good week of practice,” Reich of Lewis on Friday. “We’ll have to see how everything plays out over the next couple of days. But I think he’s progressed well.” Perhaps the game-time decision on Turay might impact if (or how much) Lewis will be needed in Week Two.
- We saw rookie linebacker E.J. Speed as a healthy inactive last Sunday. Besides Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker, here were the other linebacker reps from Week One: Matthew Adams (21 defensive snaps, 16 special teams snaps), Bobby Okereke (15 defensive snaps, 8 special teams snaps), Zaire Franklin (0 defensive snaps, 20 special teams snaps). Watching Speed in the preseason, you sometimes forget that he played just 1.5 years of linebacker in college, at Division II Tarleton State. Speed was a high school quarterback and then played wide receiver for the first half of his career in college. Speed knows it’ll take some time before he carves out a game day role.
- Third-down will be something to watch on Sunday. The Titans defense allowed 1-of-10 third-down conversions on 3rd down. The Colts were 7-of-13 on third down in Week 1. All seven conversions came on 3rd-and-3 or shorter. All sixed failed conversions came on 3rd-and-7 or longer.
- For a second straight week, the Colts will miss out on seeing a Pro Bowl left tackle. Tennessee’s Taylor Lewan is suspended for the first 4 games of the season. In Lewan’s place, Purdue product Dennis Kelly will be blocking the blindside of Marcus Mariota. The 6-8, 321-pound Kelly has made 28 career starts all over the line. Will the Colts be able to take advantage of this, like they did with the Chargers in Week One?
- The Colts want to clean up the chunk play numbers they allowed in Week 1. They gave up 6 passing plays of 20 yards or more to the Chargers. Last year, they averaged giving up 2.6 such plays per game (41 for the entire season). The Colts allowed 2 runs of more than 20 yards in the opener. Last year, they averaged 0.7 such plays per game (11 for the entire season). Hello, tackling.
- One thing I noted from Week 1 was seeing Robert Mathis back on the Colts sideline. You even saw Philip Rivers and his old friend Mathis ‘catching up’ near the end of regulation. Remember, Mathis is no longer a full-time assistant coach of the Colts. He’s a consultant here in 2019. Back in March, Mathis stepped down from his full-time post, but he’s still been around the Colts quite a lot. “He’s helping out a little bit, so that will include him being at the away games as well,” Reich said of Mathis on Friday.
- The Colts have dominated the Titans, winning 18 of their last 21 games against Tennessee. Now, two of those wins came against Jacoby Brissett and the lowly 2017 Colts. You think the Titans have a little more stock in this one, given the awful history against their AFC South foes from Indianapolis?
- With a win on Sunday, the Colts would avoid starting 0-2 for the fifth time in the last six years. Since 2014, the Colts are 1-10 in the first two weeks of the season. Granted, when this schedule came out in April, the Colts earning a split in the first two weeks would probably have been considered a nice win.
FINAL INJURY REPORT
-OUT: DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee), RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs)
-DOUBTFUL: DE-Kemoko Turay (neck)
-QUESTIONABLE: DE-Kemoko Turay (neck)