Colts’ notebook: Scott Tolzien needed a boost on his Lambeau Leap
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One of the rare environments where choreographed touchdown celebrations not only are allowed but expected is Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.
A Packer scores a TD, he immediately picks out a section of the stands and enjoys his Lambeau Leap.
Sometimes it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Consider Nov. 24, 2013. The Packers were entertaining the Minnesota Vikings and Scott Tolzien was starting for injured Aaron Rodgers. Now in his first season as the Indianapolis Colts’ backup quarterback, he gave the Packers a 7-0 first-quarter lead with a 6-yard touchdown run.
Tolzien scrambled to his left and had Vikings nose tackle Letroy Guion, who’s now the Packers starter, grasping thin air with a nifty 360-degree spin.
“That was an unbelievable move by Scotty,’’ Rodgers said Wednesday. “We still joke about that.’’
Tolzien’s Lambeau Leap was laughable as well. It lacked style points as he strained to lift himself into the arms of the fans in the end zone stands.
“I wish I could say no problem,’’ he said. “The wall’s pretty high. Actually had an 80-year-old security lady boosting me up.
“It went from the high of highs to one of my lowlights as far as trying to get up the wall. She literally boosted me. My parents were watching.’’
So were his teammates.
“It was on the highlight tape the next day,’’ Tolzien said. “Or the lowlight tape.’’
Colts QB Andrew Luck will make his first appearance in Lambeau Field Sunday. Might he offer his version of the Lambeau Leap if the situation presents itself?
“No, no, no.’’
Still a chance at 3-5:
Even though the Colts have given their fan base little reason to believe they can make something out of what has been an underachieving season, there is precedent.
Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 13 teams have reached the playoffs after getting off to 3-5 starts. Three got their act together last season: Houston, Kansas City and Washington.
The last time the Colts failed to reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons was 1997-98.
High praise for Luck, Rodgers:
Two of the NFL’s top-level QBs will share Lambeau Field Sunday. That would be Rodgers and Luck.
Don’t take our word for it.
“All players in this league are good players. You don’t get into this league unless you are a good player,’’ said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers, they were put on this Earth to play quarterback in the National Football League. They are both winners. They both play the game in their play-style and can beat you in a unique way, both in the pocket and out of the pocket.
“They both have huge wills to win and will their team to victory. I think it definitely jumps off the film and more so the TV copies and I’m sure it will on Sunday. These guys are tops in their profession.’’
Luck and Rodgers have generated similar stats to this point.
Luck: a 96.2 passer rating, 16 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 63.7 completion percentage, 285.5 yards per game.
Rodgers: a 96.4 rating, 17 TDs, 4 interceptions, 64.0 completion percentage, 248.9 yards per game.
“I admire the way he plays the game of football very much,’’ Luck said of Rodgers. “He’s certainly one of the greats of this generation. I know I enjoyed watching him when I was younger, in high school through college.
Wednesday’s injury report offered no solace to a team coming off a bad home loss to Kansas City and preparing for a tough road test at Green Bay.
Seven players missed practice with injuries: cornerback Vontae Davis (concussion), offensive tackle Joe Reitz (concussion), safety Mike Adams (groin), guards Jack Mewhort (tricep) and Denzelle Good (knee), wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and defensive end Kendall Langford (knee).
Four others were limited: tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle), defensive end Henry Anderson (knee), linebacker Curt Maggitt (ankle) and wideout Chester Rogers (hamstring/foot).
If Rogers is able to return to the lineup, he’ll handle punt returns against the Packers. In the loss to the Chiefs, rookie Josh Ferguson muffed a punt and wideout Phillip Dorsett muffed another that was wiped out by a penalty.