Colts tight end Jack Doyle catches a pass.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 24: Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (84) catches a pass over the middle during the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts on November 24, 2016, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colts Friday Notebook: Jack Doyle Out For Game With Vikings

INDIANAPOLIS The Colts will be down one of their most reliable players in Sunday’s home opener.

Frank Reich calls Jack Doyle a ‘money tight end’ and the Colts won’t have that to turn to on Sunday, as a knee/ankle injury is forcing the veteran to sit out the home opener.

What else did we learn from the Colts at their final practice of the week?

  • No Jack Doyle for the Colts this week, means Mo Alie-Cox is the only tight end on the roster who has caught a pass in the NFL. Recently claimed Noah Togiai is the other healthy tight end on the 53-man roster. Togiai is an undrafted free agent who was inactive in Week 1. Reich likes what Togiai has shown in his few weeks of working in Indy. One would think the Colts will have to promote one of their tight ends off the practice squad for Sunday. A pair of undrafted tight ends are currently on the PS, in Farrod Green (who spent the offseason with the Colts) and Charlie Taumoepeau. So, the healthy tight ends potentially available for the Colts in Week Two are 3 undrafted free agents who have never played in the NFL and a former college basketball player.
  • How long could Doyle be out? Reich said the Colts originally thought it could be a multiple week absence for Doyle, but he’s made good progress and the team isn’t sure how much time he’ll miss. Outside of sitting out 10 games in 2018, Doyle has missed just 1 game due to injury since entering the NFL in 2013. Remember, the Colts will be without tight end Trey Burton (calf) for at least one more game, as he must be on injured reserve for at least three weeks.
  • When the Colts signed Philip Rivers, we stressed how important it would be for the Colts to really stay healthy around their QB. Well, here in Week 2 they are without their No. 1 RB, No. 1 TE and No. 2 TE. That’s less than ideal. It’s a big week for the wideout group as you have to think the Colts will lean on them personnel wise a whole lot. Of course, it would be helpful to rely on a consistent run game, as well. Using rookie Danny Pinter as a jumbo tight end (he was initially a TE in college) is another option, too.
  • Although an issue with more wide receiver personnel packages comes from Michael Pittman’s iffy status for Sunday. Pittman hurt his toe in Thursday’s practice and didn’t practice on Friday. Frank Reich said the Colts will monitor the status of Pittman the next 48 hours to see if he can push through and play on Sunday. While that’s not good news, the Colts did have Zach Pascal (knee) again practicing on Friday.
  • We saw the Colts bump Reece Fountain up to the 53-man roster earlier this week. Reich said the Colts love what the ‘explosive’ Fountain has shown in practice, including two impressive catches in Friday’s final session of the week. It’s looking like a real possibility Fountain could play on Sunday. If Pittman is out, expect either Fountain or Dezmon Patmon to be that No. 4 wideout.
  • Some are calling the Vikings effort in Week 1 (allowing 43 points) the worst in Mike Zimmer’s 7 seasons coaching Minnesota. The Vikings gave up the second highest yards per play of any team in Week 1 and didn’t record a sack in 44 pass attempts for Aaron Rodgers.
  • The Colts were a very surprising 2-of-5 in the red zone in Week 1. That’s not at all normal for a Frank Reich-coached team. In 2018, the Colts finished 5th (68 percent) in the red zone. In 2019, they were 6th (64 percent) Expect a bounce back in finishing off drives for the Colts this Sunday. As Reich said this week, the Colts had enough yards (445 yards of total offense) to score about 35 points, not the 20 they produced against the Jaguars.
  • Rookie safety Julian Blackmon (knee) was not ruled OUT for Sunday’s game. Blackmon has practiced for three weeks, but is still a limited participant in practice. Even if Blackmon doesn’t play on Sunday (the Colts are healthy at safety), it looks like his NFL debut should be happening soon.
  • After being a touchdown-plus favorite on the road in Week 1, the Colts are favored by three points over the Vikings in Week Two. Is that Vegas still giving the home team three points this year, despite just 2,500 fans in the building on Sunday?
  • Following a Saturday morning walk-through, on-field prep will be done for the Colts as they get ready for Sunday’s home opener at 1:00 against the Vikings.

Final Injury Report

-OUT: TE-Jack Doyle (ankle/knee)

Bowen Analysis: Sunday will be Doyle’s first missed game since 2018.

-Questionable: S-Julian Blackmon (knee), WR-Michael Pittman (toe), WR-Zach Pascal (knee), DE-Justin Houston (calf), CB-Isiah Rodgers (ankle)

Bowen Analysis: Pascal and Rodgers were both full participants at Friday’s practice, with Blackmon still limited. Houston says he will be playing on Sunday. Pittman is the most iffy, as he didn’t practice on Friday.

The following players were on the injury report this week, but are good to go for Sunday: S-Malik Hooker (illness).

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