As we head into the second quarter of the NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts are 2-2 on the season after a Week 4 loss in overtime to the Los Angeles Rams 29-23. Going into Week 5, the Colts have a big week ahead of them for multiple reasons. Let’s take a look at what makes this week so big for Indy.
Jonathan Taylor returns to Colts
The week we have all been waiting for. Indy’s head coach Shane Steichen announced that star running back Jonathan Taylor will practice on Wednesday. He has not revealed if he will be active on Sunday. Jonathan Taylor is known for the way he takes care of his body and fitness, so it's assumed he is already in football shape. Now whether he is ready to play in his first NFL game of the season has yet to be determined.
Hopefully this can be a fresh start for Taylor and he can get his extension. Or, is the Colts management planning to showcase him for a couple weeks to ramp up the trade talks again? Only time will tell but with the Colts being better than most expected, I think we see JT get back to his old All-Pro ways.
Jelani Woods Will remain on IR
Shane Steichen announced that while tight end Jelani Woods is eligible to come off injured reserve on Wednesday, he will remain on the IR list. It is listed as a hamstring injury and Woods has battled it this offseason and now into the season. There is no need to rush him back with this injury. While no one has truly emerged as the clear-cut top tight end this season, Indy has plenty of depth.
Andrew Ogletree and Mo Alie-Cox both had touchdowns on Sunday and Kylen Granson nearly had one as well. Will Mallory was a healthy scratch Sunday, but has played well when he got the opportunity early this season. Allowing what you have to develop rather than rushing a player back is sometimes the best option.
Colts injuries from Week 4
The only major injury we saw after the Rams game was to starting cornerback Dallis Flowers. It was announced that the injury for Flowers is indeed serious, as he will miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury. No question, this is a gut punch to the secondary, as Flowers was starting to really come around in his second season.
Next man up mentality returns here with rookies JuJu Brents and Jaylon Jones, who will now be asked to play an even bigger role. Week 3 and 4 healthy scratch, Darrell Baker Jr., might get another opportunity after his underwhelming performances in Week 1 and 2. Colts may also look to elevate Chris Lammons off the practice squad or bring in another body from the free agent pool. Neither move would surprise me.
Lastly, we found out that defensive end Kwity Paye has self-reported concussion symptoms and has entered the NFL Concussion Protocol. It's rare to see someone get in and out of protocol in less than a week, so look for Dayo Odeyingbo to have an opportunity to build on his career best performance last week.
Colts face rival Titans in Week 5
Indianapolis welcomes the division rival Tennessee Titans to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Colts will again be playing for AFC South positioning, as all division teams are now 2-2 on the season. Indianapolis is riding an eight-game home losing streak and coming off a tough loss to the LA Rams.
This could be a very different team if Taylor returns, and it will be interesting to see how the fans react to him if he is active on Sunday. The Colts hope to get starting offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann and Ryan Kelly back from concussion protocol. Other injuries to watch include Quenton Nelson (toe), Braden Smith (wrist), DeForest Buckner (Groin/Back), and Grover Stewart (Foot).