An Indianapolis Colts secondary reduced to playing fifth and sixth cornerbacks will have Pro Bowl star Vontae Davis in the Sunday lineup at the Tennessee Titans.
Davis, who suffered a concussion in Monday’s home loss to the New York Jets, has been cleared as part of the NFL’s mandatory protocol and was a full-practice participant Thursday.
“I’m approaching it as if I’m playing,” Davis said. “I’d be mad if I wasn’t (laughs).”
The Colts are already without starting cornerback Greg Toler (neck), nickel cornerback Darius Butler (hip) and rookie cornerback D'Joun Smith (knee). Butler hasn’t practiced this week and Toler has been limited in his first practices since preseason, so both likely won’t play. Smith is on injured reserve with a designation to return after undergoing knee surgery.
Jalil Brown, who made just his third career NFL start in five seasons Monday, and Sheldon Price, who spent last season's rookie year on the practice squad, have been playing instead. The Colts also signed Josh Thomas on Tuesday.
“Jalil and Price, those guys are doing a good job,” Davis said. “They pay attention in meetings and they ask questions. They’re like a sponge so my hat goes off to them. The young guys are doing a real good job.”
Davis is the Colts’ best defensive performer and highest-paid player on the roster at $11.25 million. The seventh-year pro is typically assigned to the opponents’ No. 1 receiver. He didn’t allow Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins a single catch in the opener, but gave up a touchdown to the Jets’ Eric Decker on Monday.
He suffered the head injury when making a tackle in the second quarter. A secondary with reserves was eventually exposed when the Jets drove to a game-clinching touchdown in the final quarter of a 20-7 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In other Colts injury news, tight end Dwayne Allen did not practice for the second consecutive day due to ankle injury. He didn’t play the second half Monday.
The Colts just signed tight end Sean McGrath to the practice squad and could add him to the active roster if Allen is inactive. Allen has missed 18 games due to injuries the past two seasons.
Outside linebacker Trent Cole was limited in practice due to a knee issue. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis was also limited, but that’s because the Colts don’t want to overwork their 34-year-old pass rusher, who played for the first time in more than a year on Monday. Second-year outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome, who missed last week due to a hamstring, practiced full for the second consecutive day.
Inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson suffered a shoulder stinger at the end of the Jets game. He rested Wednesday and didn’t practice Thursday.
Starting offensive left guard Lance Louis, who didn’t practice Wednesday due to a shoulder injury, was limited Thursday. If he can’t go Sunday, expect 2013 third-round pick Hugh Thornton to get the start. He has started 20 games in his career.
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