The Colts could actually benefit from Cleveland’s horribly-timed COVID-19 outbreak.
The Indianapolis Colts are honestly pretty lucky that their playoff odds are as favorable as they still remain in the wake of their demoralizing collapse against the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend.
In most circumstances, teams would suffer the consequences of such an inexplicable loss, but what would 2020 be without dishing out some luck after all the misery it fostered over the last 12 months? Amazingly enough, the final week of this forgettable year continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Colts.
You know how we disclosed the news that Pittsburgh decided to rest several starters leading up to their matchup against Cleveland, and how that pretty much guaranteed a Browns win? Well, the Browns are unfortunately still getting slammed by COVID-19. So much so, in fact, that the playoff-hopeful team was forced to close its practice facility again.
We obviously aren’t downplaying the severity of COVID-19 and we wish all players and coaching staff members who tested positive a swift recovery. At the same time, however, it’s impossible not to acknowledge how this news benefits the Colts, who need Pittsburgh to beat Cleveland in order to clinch a playoff berth.
On Thursday, it was reported that Browns linebacker Malcolm Smith and tight end Harrison Bryant tested positive, meaning they will not be available this weekend. These latest test results mean that they will be without at least four players, linebacker BJ Goodson and safety Andrew Sendejo being the others, against Pittsburgh.
That number could grow depending on how further contact tracing plays out.
Even as it looks like Cleveland’s foursome of receivers will return, you simply can’t know for sure how they’ll look after spending a week away from the team. It also remains to be seen how the team itself will perform after missing key practices ahead of a must-win game.
Whatever the case, the Colts can definitely take solace in the fact that Cleveland will be without three key players on defense and a pass catcher in Bryant who has really emerged as a security blanket for quarterback Baker Mayfield over the last handful of games.
This isn’t to say that the Steelers will win the game, but their chances to do just that have no doubt increased in light of this news.