The Indianapolis Colts might have its starting cornerback duo intact for Thursday’s road game at Houston.
Greg Toler was a full participant in practice Monday for the first time since preseason, when he suffered a neck injury, what he described as a bruised disc.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said Toler is “good to go” in making his season debut against the Texans at NRG Stadium. When asked what a boost it will be to have the seventh-year pro in the lineup, Pagano repeated, “Good to go.”
On the other side of the field, Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis missed practice with a foot issue. It’s unknown the injury severity, but he’s not expected to miss the AFC South Division game. Players routinely have soreness issues the day after a game and the Colts played extra minutes in a 16-13 overtime win over Jacksonville Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Nickel cornerback Darius Butler started Sunday for Toler, as well as in the season opener at Buffalo, but he’s struggled outside in man-to-man coverage. While Toler isn’t the lockdown corner like Davis, he’s better in press coverage than Butler, who is more suited to cover guys in the slot.
Toler is in a contract year, too, so he’s going to need to produce to earn a new deal, if not with the Colts then another team.
The other good news is tight end Dwayne Allen is also ready to return after missing two games with an ankle injury. Allen has three receptions for 17 yards and one touchdown.
Aside from quarterback Andrew Luck, who is “trending in the right direction” with a right shoulder injury, the Colts have a lengthy injury list. Players unlikely to suit up are cornerback Jalil Brown, who started two games for Toler but suffered a groin injury Sunday. Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner injured a hamstring and, like Brown, is considered “week to week.”
Running back Frank Gore (foot), defensive end Kendall Langford (back) and inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (groin) are all day-to-day, but likely to play. Rookie running back Tyler Varga is still undergoing the concussion protocol. He missed last week’s game due to the injury.
The Colts (2-2) are 8-0 in Thursday night games in a short week, including a 33-28 victory at Houston almost a year to the date on Oct. 9, 2014. The Texans (1-3) are coming off a 48-21 loss at Atlanta.
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.