Colts: Jack Doyle missing practice again could pave way for Mo Alie-Cox as full-time starter
Colts TE Jack Doyle missed another practice, so get ready for more Mo Alie-Cox.
Like most teams in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts are feeling the effects of not having a four-game preseason to shake off the offseason rust.
As invaluable as training camp scrimmages and simulations are, they simply don’t come close to replicating the speed of a real game, and the results have unfortunately resulted in a legion of serious injuries being sustained across the league.
The Colts fall under this category as they have several key players who have either been lost for the season or are facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Focusing solely on the tight end position, head coach Frank Reich’s side has been without projected starters Jack Doyle (knee/ankle) and Trey Burton (calf). Doyle played Week 1 but dealt with a neck issue before his new ailments.
Well, according to Reich, the Doyle won’t practice on Wednesday and this could really set the stage for fan favorite Mo Alie-Cox to make the starting job his own.
This marks the fourth straight practice Doyle has missed. For him to have a chance at suiting up against the New York Jets in Week 3, he’ll have to (at minimum) get in a limited session before Friday. At this rate, that’s not looking good.
Let’s not forget that the Colts initially feared Doyle would miss multiple games after his injuries cropped up following the season-opening loss to Jacksonville. Assuming the two-time Pro Bowler is shelved for another game, Alie-Cox will have yet another chance to impress the coaching staff.
In his fourth career start, the inexperienced third-year pro made the most of his opportunities, leading the team with five receptions for 111 yards. It shouldn’t be surprising given his colossal 6-foot-5, 267-pound frame, but on top of being a reliable outlet in the middle of the field, Alie-Cox was also a beast sealing the edge for the Colts’ rushing attack, which racked up 151 yards.
There’s simply no other competition for Alie-Cox to fend off with Doyle still banged up. Burton, as we know, was placed on injured reserve before the season. That will sideline him for at least the first three games of the year, which gives Alie-Cox breathing room to further bolster his case.
Though Burton is eligible to be activated next week, the lack of updates surrounding his rehab progress indicate he might be out longer than originally anticipated.
Don’t look now, Colts fans, but another strong performance in Week 3 could see Alie-Cox put a stranglehold on the starting tight end spot for the rest of the season. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t rooting for him to do so.