News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 17, 2012

Colts healthy entering key road game

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — If all goes well during today’s short walk-through practice, it appears the Indianapolis Colts will be in pretty good health heading into Sunday’s nationally televised (4:25 p.m., CBS Sports) road game with the New England Patriots.

Only cornerback Vontae Davis (knee) and rookie tight end Coby Fleener (shoulder) have been ruled out of the Patriots game. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis (back), center Samson Satele (back), offensive tackle Winston Justice (knee), running back Donald Brown (knee) and rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman (knee) will all be game-time decisions.

Mathis, Satele, Justice, Brown and Chapman practiced Friday. Should things go well in today’s workout, and there are no issues that crop up during or after the team’s flight to Foxborough later this afternoon, the Colts will be about as healthy as they’ve been in several weeks.

“As far as the injury update, Fleener and Davis are the two guys who are out. Everyone else is probable. We’ll make our game-day decisions as far as who is inactive on Sunday,” interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said after Friday’s workout. “But everybody practiced. It was a very spirited practice and a very good one.”

Arians added that while Chapman had a good week of practice, he is going to wait until Sunday before deciding if the former Alabama defensive lineman will be active for the game.

• Keep the focus — With such a big turnover on the roster since the end of last season, it would be natural of many of the Colts’ younger and less-experienced players to have some butterflies about playing at Gillette Stadium against a team like New England.

Arians, though, doesn’t think that’s going to happen. While there will be some anxiousness, as there is before every game, he believes Indianapolis’ players have a good mindset as they conclude preparations for the Patriots.

“We’ve talked about it all week. It’s just a football game. They’ve just moved the [starting game] time of it. And the opponent is who they are. We care about ourselves and getting ourselves ready to play. We’ll take of that business instead of 1 o’clock at 4:30 p.m.,” he said.

“We’ve had a little bit of a taste of the national [television] with Jacksonville [last week]. I think we’re more than ready.”

• Emotion and purpose — So much has been made out of the Colts playing on emotion over the last month in reaction to the temporary loss of coach Chuck Pagano, who continues to battle a form of leukemia.

But Arians doesn’t think emotion is the key to Indianapolis’ 6-3 start or what the team will hang its hat on moving forward.

“I don’t think emotion, but I think they can with purpose. And I think the purpose being that they not let each other down for one common goal. I’ve seen it so many times where a group of guys will band together under different slogans. They all have to come up with something. This is just, ‘One, two, three, Chuck,’” he explained.

• Pagano visits team — The Colts’ coach, who began his second round of chemotherapy treatments earlier this week, visited with Indianapolis’ players and coaches during Friday’s workout.

“Had a great day [Friday]. The sun was shining and [Pagano] broke his team down at practice. It was a beautiful moment,” Arians said. “Called him [Friday] morning. I’m always afraid to invite him [to attend practice] when we go indoors because of germs. But it was outside. And if the doctor said that it was OK, then please come.

“He came and enjoyed a good bunch of sunshine and talked to the guys. It was another beautiful day.”

• Roster moves — The Colts waived cornerback Marshay Green from the active roster Friday afternoon. Indianapolis  signed cornerback Teddy Williams from the practice squad.