Colts defense could be severely short-handed against Steelers with multiple starters as game-time decisions
The Indianapolis Colts are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football but Indy could be without a few of its best players.
All season, the Indianapolis Colts have been carried by their defense. With elite play from Stephon Gilmore on the backend, Zaire Franklin and Bobby Okereke in the middle, and Grover Stewart leading the defensive line, the defense is the reason Indy is 4-6-1, and not much worse. Unfortunately, the defense may not be at full strength on Monday night when Indy takes the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After a week of practice, and an extra day to prepare, the Colts enter Monday night’s game with five players listed on the injury report that may not play. Three of the five are starting defensive linemen for Indianapolis. DeForest Buckner, dealing with injured ribs and illness, Zaire Franklin, battling an illness, Yannick Ngakoue, trying to overcome a back injury, and tight end Kylen Granson, who’s also battling an illness, are all questionable for the Week 12 game against the Steelers. Their statuses will be decided pregame. Kwity Paye has already been ruled out.
Colts have four questionable players for Week 12 game against Steelers
Granson and Franklin missed practice all week with their illnesses but have a chance to play. However, Granson is doubtful and Franklin is just questionable. Granson has been Indy’s most consistent tight end and Franklin has been phenomenal at linebacker, especially with Shaquille Leonard out, so it would be impactful for the Colts if either of them missed the game.
The biggest concern is for the defensive line. With Paye already out, and Buckner and Ngakoue questionable, there’s a chance that Indy could be extremely understaffed on the defensive line Monday night. That’s a position group where depth and rotations are important, so if the top guys are out, the Colts will be in a lot of trouble.
This will all be decided when the team hits the field to warm up before the game. This primetime matchup against the Steelers is a winnable game for Indianapolis but that path will certainly become tougher if the key players listed on the injury report aren’t able to play.