The Indianapolis Colts will start the 2023 regular season on Sunday, against the Jacksonville Jaguars. As things currently stand, Indy will enter the game with just four receivers— the amount that many teams put on the field for a singular play. The four receivers are veterans Michael Pittman Jr. and Isaiah McKenzie, second-year wideout Alec Pierce, and rookie Josh Downs.
While this is a promising group that can develop into a special unit, there’s still a ton of concern about only having four receivers on the active roster. However, the concern is from outside the building; things don’t seem as urgent for the Colts.
On Monday, head coach Shane Steichen told the media that the organization is still discussing whether they want to start the season with just four receivers on the active roster or not. So it seems like Steichen, who is also the offensive play caller, is comfortable with just rolling into the year with four receivers.
Colts may start season with just four receivers
One of the reasons Indianapolis is likely comfortable with having just four receivers is that the team also has four tight ends, and that’s not even including Jelani Woods who is currently on injured reserve. The Colts have been very open about how much they want to feature tight ends in the offense, so it makes sense to look at all the pass catchers as a group.
Even still, having just four wideouts is very risky. Not only is fatigue a factor, but an injury or two could really comprise the offense and what plays they could run. Unless the tight ends for the Colts are more versatile than we know, and can also play wide receiver in the offense, Indy will be limiting what it does offensively with only four wide receivers.
However, Shane Steichen has proven himself as an offensive guru, and he doesn’t seem worried, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Colts navigate having so few receivers.