Jack Doyle has returned to practice for the Colts but Mo Alie-Cox deserves another look.
The Indianapolis Colts got some good injury news on Thursday when tight end Jack Doyle returned to practice after missing Week 2 with ankle and knee ailments. The only problem is that backup tight end Mo Alie-Cox impressed in his start against the Minnesota Vikings, who possess a strong linebacking and safety corps.
Alie-Cox was the team’s leading receiver in that game, hauling in five passes for 111 yards, with his only gaffe being a dropped a contested ball in the red zone that led to an interception. We’ve seen what the former VCU basketball star is capable of in flashes over the last two seasons, but Colts fans finally got a full dose.
And given that success against big-name defenders, Doyle’s return should not affect Alie-Cox’s playing time.
Doyle was limited on Thursday and is still dealing with a knee injury, so fans shouldn’t expect to see him immediately back in the starting role on Sunday, but even when he’s fully ready to return, especially if Alie-Cox shreds the Jets this week, the coaching staff really needs to take a step back and evaluate here.
Doyle’s contract might make this tough because it’ll be hard for the team to justify limiting his reps when he’s set to make over $18 million total through the 2022 season. Yup, not a great contract extension, at all.
However, Alie-Cox gives Philip Rivers that Antonio Gates-like target and it’s clear the veteran quarterback is already loving it based on what happened last week. Alie-Cox is an imposing force and also contributes greatly to the running game with his blocking abilities. If you ask us, this is an all-around starting tight end in the making that the Colts shouldn’t disrupt.
Doyle’s return should not inhibit Alie-Cox’s development and trajectory given his contributions in multiple facets of the game. And if he manages to prove that yet again against a weak Jets team on Sunday, his case should further sway the coaching staff to keep things as is regardless of Doyle’s status in the coming weeks.