Is it fair to question Colts’ handling of Xavier Rhodes calf injury?
Indianapolis Colts fans have not been happy with Xavier Rhodes’ production this season, and we can’t blame them.
But should that anger be directed towards the team for the way in which the veteran cornerback has been handled? It’s fair to ask.
Rhodes had a resurgent campaign in 2020 after a career-worst showing in 2019, which was his final season with the Minnesota Vikings. The Colts brought him back on the cheap for 2021 but haven’t gotten anywhere close to the results they saw last year.
That could be due in large part to the calf injury he suffered right before Week 1. It kept him out for the first two games. He’s been on the field since Week 3, but we’re still getting news about him dealing with the calf issue, and we can’t help but think he was prematurely brought back into action since we’re now approaching Week 10 with Rhodes still being day-to-day.
Did the Colts mess up handling Xavier Rhodes calf injury?
Rhodes has 23 tackles, three passes defended, and one interception in seven games (82% of the snaps). Call us crazy … but that’s awful for a supposed No. 1 cornerback. Whether Rhodes is of that stature is a conversation for another day, but that’s his role on this Colts’ defense and it’s how he’s being deployed.
You saw him get torched on that touchdown to Elijah Moore against the Jets. You saw his horrific attempt at tackling Titans wideout AJ Brown, which resulted in a 50-yard touchdown to give Tennessee the momentum. Need we go on?
Sure. We will. He’s allowed quarterbacks to complete 69% of their passes in his direction, which has translated to a 122.7 passer rating. He’s allowed three touchdowns and has a 15% missed tackle percentage.
Now, could this simply be who Rhodes is as he gets deeper and deeper into the back nine of his career? Absolutely. We saw it on full display in 2019.
However, it’s clear this calf injury has played some role, and it’d be irresponsible to discount it influencing his play. He’s not the one who makes the final call in regard to taking the field, so the medical staff and coaching staff should have to answer questions on that topic.
By no means does the injury absolve Rhodes of his poor play, considering so many players take the field banged up on a weekly basis, but a calf strain lasting for the better part of three months now is something worth digging into for a greater explanation.