This wasn’t supposed to be a rebuild year for the Indianapolis Colts.
Last season, they notched 11 wins and qualified for the playoffs, albeit by the skin of their teeth, in a loaded AFC. They followed that up by making a splash trade for Carson Wentz, who’s performed better than fans could have hoped, and signed a couple of homegrown stars to big-money extensions.
Unfortunately, the Colts are feeling the effects of an inactive free agency, abhorrent injury luck and a brutal early-season schedule.
Having said that, this season is still capable of being saved. This roster is loaded with talent and the schedule the rest of the way is extremely favorable.
In other words, GM Chris Ballard should be willing to wheel-and-deal leading up to the Nov. 2 trade deadline. With that in mind, here are three players Indy must target in order to turn their season around.
3 players the Colts must target before the trade deadline
3. Michael Gallup
The Colts are decimated at receiver. So much so, that they promoted Keke Coutee from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the 49ers.
Parris Campbell is out indefinitely with a foot injury. TY Hilton, who just returned from injured reserve, was out for Week 7 with a quad issue. Michael Pittman is hovering on elite status already, but Indy needs somebody else outside to take some of the attention off the 2020 second-round pick.
Zach Pascal is always a threat, but he does most of his damage in the slot. We’re bullish on the futures of Ashton Dulin and Mike Strachan, but their lack of reps this year proves they’re still being coached with training wheels.
As a result, the Colts should turn to Michael Gallup as a potential solution.
In the final year of his rookie contract with no extension on the horizon, Dallas seems content moving forward with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb as the future of its receiving corps. Nobody would argue with that logic, but Gallup would be a dream deadline acquisition for any team that’s willing to pony up a Day 2 draft pick.
Gallup is one of the best jump-ball receivers in the NFL, and he’s outstanding after the catch. Sure, he’ll commit the occasional drop — he had 17 over the previous two seasons — but he’s exactly the kind of playmaker Indy needs.
With Campbell out of the picture and Hilton’s availability always being a question mark, Gallup qualifies as a must-get for the Colts.