For Colts fans, it's a good sign that the team will be at close to full strength.
During a season where Colts fans have come to realize that every nick, scrape and bruise seemingly lands a player -- at least initially -- on the injury list as questionable, by this point in the season there's no longer much panic until the report is interpreted by the team or the media based on what we've been able to piece together.
Two starters are likely to be game-time decisions, and undoubtedly much to your surprise, their names aren't Bob Sanders (knee) and Brandon Stokely (knee). Both of them practiced on Friday and are expected to be ready to play.
The game day decisions will likely be the other safety, rookie Antoine Bethea (shoulder), and right offensive tackle Ryan Diem (abdomen) who haven't practiced yet this week. Strongside linebacker Gilbert Gardner (rib) was back on the field on Friday.
Defensive tackle Raheem Brock (chest) is questionable, but practiced all week. Left cornerback Nick Harper missed just Wednesday's practice (groin) and appears to be fine. Tight end Ben Utecht (knee), who should see more action with Clark sidelined, was upgraded today from questionable to probable.
It appears that only two members of the Titans are likely to miss their home game against Indianapolis. Backup defensive end Antwan Odom is out with a knee injury while another reserve defensive end -- Josh Savage (hamstring) -- hasn't practice this week. Four other players -- running back Lendale White ((hip), defensive tackle Robaire Smith (hamstring), tight end Bo Scaife (quad), and defensive end Travis LaBoy (concussion) -- all practiced on Friday.
I was listening to NFL Sirius Radio while driving today, and radio host and broadcaster Randy Cross made a very insightful and hilarious observation.
"We are an ADD sports society," he said with a laugh of incredulity.
He and co-host Bob Papa were discussing how teams -- following even a single loss -- can create deep despair amongst the fans and the media. And when a team hits a three-game skid like the Giants, it's all over in the minds of some onlookers.
The NFL has definitely become a "what have you done for me last week" kind of sport. And it cuts both ways. For every Tony Romo success story, there's an Eli Manning doom-and-gloom story. But if Manning has a huge game against Romo this weekend, their worlds will likely turn upside down come Monday morning.
Heading into this week, commentators and fans were gushing about the Ravens, including the some of the Ravens.
"People don't like watching it on tape," defensive end Trevor Pryce said earlier this week. "We look like world beaters."
Evidently, the Cincinnati Bengals must be from another planet since they were able to hand Baltimore their third loss of the year Thursday night.
So don't be surprised to see some hype and mania from our "ADD sports society" shift to the AFC's other current bridesmaid, the San Diego Chargers. They trail the Colts by just one game heading into this weekend possessing a balanced and potent offensive attack and a defense that's about to get even better with the return of Shawne Merriman. Assuming of course that he's able to be as quick and strong as he was prior to his four-game suspension for a steroids violation.
But even San Diego has a kink that has them a bit concerned, despite the fact that their playing the Buffalo Bills this weekend.
Quarterback Philip Rivers just didn't look
"right" last week and posted a career-low 44.2 QB rating as a starter.
He completed just 14 of 31 passes for 133 yards against the Raiders, and threw
"The whole game I was rushing a bit," he said. "I was just off balance. You never want to do that in a game, but I'll be able to benefit from it."
I guess we'll see. But if he doesn't and the Bills do the unthinkable and figure out a way to jolt the Bolts, Rivers could find himself commiserating with either Eli Manning or Tony Romo while their respective fan bases try to diagnose their woes and the potential impact on their playoff hopes.
I have to admit. The whole thing makes me chuckle at times. This sport is so much doggone fun to watch and analyze, isn't it?
Jerry Langton's completed a great scouting report piece on Luke Lawton, the new fullback on the practice squad, that will be up for Saturday morning reading. One thing I shared with people about Lawton in our Thursday night chat session was that he set a bench press record for running backs at McNeese State. "Big deal," you might say. "..and where the heck is McNeese State anyway?"
Well, I don't know about you, but I think a kid that can bench 425 pounds is
worthy of some respect. And McNeese State is in Louisiana for those who were
Don't miss Jerry's report. He really provided some great insight on Lawton and why he could succeed with Indy after not being able to fit with a number of other teams.
I hope the Colts packed their discipline as they prepared for their trip to Nashville. Looking down through the stats, the Titans are winning as of late because they have been doing exactly what Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy has said is essential to winning -- avoid losing the game.
Tennessee has been doing that, only getting hit for 12 accepted penalties over the last four games. And rookie QB Vince Young hasn't thrown an interception in nine quarters.
But one area the Colts could exploit that plays to their strength is the Titans' tendency to fumble. They've coughed it up at least twice in nine of their eleven games, and Indianapolis is pretty darn good at stripping the ball or slapping it out of the quarterback's hand during pass attempts. And both defensive ends -- Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney -- will be going up against second-year offensive tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart.
Check back later for more updates. Talk about this update in our fan forum!