Colts taking ‘by committee’ approach with CB Rashaan Melvin out
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts will be without arguably their best defensive player Sunday at Jacksonville, and replacing cornerback Rashaan Melvin won’t be a one-man job.
According to coach Chuck Pagano, the Colts will take a “by committee’’ approach as Melvin misses the rematch with the Jaguars after dislocating a bone in is right hand in last Sunday’s loss to Tennessee.
Earlier in the week, Pagano was quick to reveal his starting offensive line that must compensate for the absence of center Ryan Kelly, ruled out with a concussion.
Friday, he declined to do likewise when asked which player will start opposite cornerback Pierre Desir. The likely candidates include Chris Milton and rookies Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson.
“A bunch of guys have had a good week in practice,’’ Pagano said. “We’ve got different packages, so rather than just spell it all out, they’ll all have an opportunity to play.’’
The problem is, no one brings anything resembling experience to the mix.
Wilson, the Colts’ second-round draft pick, last played Sept. 17 against Arizona when he made his only career start and second appearance. A knee injury has hampered his rookie season, and he’s been a healthy inactive five times.
Wilson conceded his first season as a pro has been tough.
“It’s growing pains, I guess,’’ he said. “I’ve got to keep working and getting better every day in practice.
“Whenever coaches feel ready to put me in there we’ll see how it goes.’’
Milton is in his second year with the team and has appeared in 15 games, but his only career start came in the last season’s finale against the Jaguars. Moore has been on the field for all 11 games this season, but he’s contributed more on special teams (a team-high eight tackles) than defense (four tackles).
In Jacksonville’s 27-0 whipping of the Colts Oct. 22 in Lucas Oil Stadium, quarterback Blake Bortles passed for 330 yards and one touchdown. He was especially dominant in the first half as the Jaguars settled into a 20-0 halftime lead: 14-of-20, 282 yards, one TD.
Along with Melvin and Kelly, the Colts have ruled out tight end Darrell Daniels (hamstring) and defensive lineman Hassan Ridgeway (shoulder). Wide receiver Donte Moncrief is questionable with a groin injury, but he was a full participant in Friday’s practice.
Forget about it:
Along with possessing game-breaking skills, rookie running back Marlon Mack has a short memory. That’s critical when something goes amiss on the field.
The turning point of last Sunday’s 20-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans occurred when Mack mishandled a pitch from quarterback Jacoby Brissett late in the third quarter. The Titans, trailing 16-6 at the time, recovered Mack’s fumble at the Indy 4-yard line. They scored two plays later.
“You just let it go,’’ Mack said. “You try not to think about it. Sometimes it’s a hard pill to swallow, but you’ve just got to stay focused and play the next play.
“You can’t let the bad plays affect the good plays.’’
Veteran Frank Gore was quick to offer counsel to the Colts’ fourth-round draft pick.
“It’s football,’’ Gore said. “He’ll bounce back. (He’s) a young player. He’s got a bright future. Just got to keep his head down and keep working.
“That’s going to happen. It’s football. He’s going to be fine.’’