How Will The Colts Replace Devin Funchess Going On Injured Reserve?

How Will The Colts Replace Devin Funchess Going On Injured Reserve?

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How Will The Colts Replace Devin Funchess Going On Injured Reserve?

With wide receiver Devin Funchess missing at least eight weeks after injuring his left shoulder, how will the Colts make up for the loss of their big bodied wideout?

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INDIANAPOLIS – The curse of free agent wideouts coming to Indianapolis has hit Devin Funchess.

In Sunday’s 4th quarter, Funchess suffered a left clavicle injury. After a Monday procedure, Funchess will be sidelined for at least eight weeks, with the Colts placing him on injured reserve, Frank Reich announced on Monday.

The plan is for Funchess to return at some point this season, but going on injured reserve means he will miss at least the next 8 weeks of the season.

Week 10, a November 10th home game versus the Dolphins, is the earliest Funchess can return.

“It’s a tough break for Devin,” Reich said on Monday. “We really love Devin. Just felt like there was a growing chemistry between him and Jacoby. Jacoby really likes throwing him the ball. He’s a big, strong guy.”

With Funchess out, the Colts must find a replacement for their big bodied receiver, who was used in some critical moments during the season opener, including a 4th down reception on the touchdown drive that eventually forced overtime.

Funchess had 3 catches for 32 yards on Sunday, and played 36 of 63 offensive snaps, which was the second most of any wideout. His 5 targets were second on the team to T.Y. Hilton (9 targets).

Jacoby Brissett followed the Frank Reich script to look for Funchess winning against man coverage. Funchess, who stands 6-4 and 225 pounds, did that on all three of his receptions. Those grabs came when Funchess was often the lone receiver on the weakside of the formation, with Brissett going to the big man on his first read.

In Week 1, you saw why Reich pleaded to Chris Ballard for the Colts to go after Funchess in free agency.

The Colts head coach and play caller has always been a fan of Funchess and saw specific ways to exploit him in the Indy offense.

That is now on hold with the first significant offensive injury of the season.

Without Funchess, the 6-2 Deon Cain is next man up.

Cain had 2 catches for 34 yards (on 2 targets) in his NFL regular season debut. Cain played just 11 snaps though, a number that is definitely going to climb with Funchess out.

While Cain doesn’t possess the massive frame of Funchess, the 202-pounder still plays big and excels at winning 50/50 balls. He can be a ‘back shoulder’ type of guy in man coverage, especially with vertical speed that can’t be ignored.

“We like Deon for a lot of the same reasons that we like Funch,” Reich said on Monday. “They are different types of receivers. But Deon we feel like is a big play receiver. He has that in his game. This is a great opportunity for him. But we will mix it up with some of the other guys on offense as well.

“We have some good young receivers. We had 6 active in the game. That’s very unusual for an NFL team. But we felt that strongly that all 6 of our guys can contribute and they did contribute."

Playing time and touches are likely to increase for Parris Campbell, too. Campbell had just 2 touches in 11 snaps on Sunday, as the Colts relied on their productive run game in the second half to move the ball.

Zach Pascal, who played 24 snaps on Sunday, is another name to keep an eye on. At 6-2 and 214 pounds, Pascal is the team’s best blocking wideout and he filled in nicely last season with 27 catches.

Increased usage for tight ends Eric Ebron and possibly Mo Allie-Cox could also be in store, if the Colts want more height on the field in the pass catching group.

On Monday, Reich specifically mentioned getting Ebron more involved now that Funchess is out.

“We are always looking to get Ebron involved and with Funchess out, and that big target, certainly (Ebron) will be the one filling the spot in some of those plays,” the Colts’ play caller added.

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