Colts LB-Darius Leonard points out before a 2020 snap.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 27: Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) points down field in action during a NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets on September 27, 2020 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colts Thursday Notebook: Several Starters Miss Another Practice

INDIANAPOLIS With the bye week on the horizon, the Colts are going to have some decisions to make at Friday’s final practice on the health of some key guys in Week Six.

The Colts were down 3 starters at Thursday’s practice, where preparation continued for the Bengals (1-3-1) in Week Six.

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

  • Thursday marked a 5th straight missed practice for Darius Leonard (groin). It’s probably safe to call Leonard an unlikely option to play this Sunday, knowing that the bye week is coming next week.
  • Needed left tackle Anthony Castonzo practiced for a second straight day on Thursday. And he was a FULL participant, which is another good sign for him returning to the lineup this weekend.
  • Two other names to watch at Friday’s practice injury wise: TE-Mo Alie-Cox (knee), DT-Denico Autry (ankle, knee). Both missed their second straight day of practice on Thursday. These are two guys who finished Sunday’s game against the Browns, but Frank Reich mentioned them earlier in the week as injuries to monitor. Both are important guys in the respective success of their units.
  • In comparing the Colts offense from last year’s start to this year, there’s one obvious difference. The Colts are moving the ball at a similar rate (35.0 yards per drive compared to 36.8 yards last year) and are actually scoring at a better rate (scoring on 46 percent of drives compared to 42 percent last year). The problem is the scores haven’t been enough touchdowns (16 percent TDs this year compared to 26 percent last year). Even with all the questions and concerns about Philip Rivers, the Colts are still moving it at an adequate enough level with him at quarterback, but they must start finishing off drives better.
  • Rookie kicker Rodrigo Blakenkship is the NFL’s leading scorer at 56 points through 5 weeks. Of course, the Colts would love if Blankenship wasn’t kicking so often (his 17 field goal attempts leads the NFL).
  • Blankenship has been pretty darn solid in what the Colts are asking him to do. His long kick has been just 44 yards though, so that’ll be something to watch when he’s asked to kick longer ones later this season.
  • The Colts have the NFL’s longest streak in keeping their opponents out of the end zone on opening drives. It’s been 17 straight games that the Colts have not allowed an opening drive TD.
  • Joe Burrow is on pace to be sacked an astonishing 70 times this season. He’s been sacked at least 3 times in 4 of his 5 games, including 7 sacks last week against the Ravens. With the Colts having just 2 sacks in their past two games (80 pass attempts), they will be looking to feast against the rookie QB.
  • The Colts will practice one more time on Friday, with a 1:00 PM game hosting Cincinnati (1-3-1) in front of 12,500 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

Thursday Injury Report

-DNP: TE-Mo Alie-Cox (knee), DL-Denico Autry (ankle, knee), LB-Darius Leonard (groin), OT-Chaz Green (back), RB-Jordan Wilkins (calf)

Bowen Analysis: After practicing limited on Wednesday, Wilkins did not participate on Thursday. The Colts might need to call up a practice squad running back this week (Darius Anderson and Darius Jackson are the two RBs on the PS).

-LIMITED: DE-Justin Houston (hip)

          Bowen Analysis: Houston was a limited participant on Thursday after not practicing on Wednesday.

-FULL: LT-Anthony Castonzo (rib), S-Julian Blackmon (groin)

Bowen Analysis: Great signs here. Blackmon didn’t practice on Wednesday.

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