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Leonard, Geathers, Hooker among Colts ruled out for Kansas City game

Malik Hooker (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There are no excuses, but plenty of reasons for concern as the Indianapolis Colts focus on Sunday’s meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium.

Five players have been ruled out, including three defensive starters. A defense that has struggled the first month of the season will be without All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion), starting safeties Clayton Geathers (concussion) and Malik Hooker (knee) and backup lineman Tyquan Lewis (ankle). The fifth is rookie wideout Parris Campbell, who underwent a procedure Friday to address an abdominal injury.

Further complicating matters is the uncertain status of five others. Listed questionable are Pro Bowl wideout T.Y. Hilton (quad), running back Marlon Mack (ankle), linebacker Anthony Walker (shoulder), rookie cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (hip) and safety Rolan Milligan (knee).

Hilton was held out of the loss to Oakland and Wednesday’s practice, but was limited Thursday and Friday. Mack practiced for the first time Friday, albeit on a limited basis.

Leonard’s situation was something of a surprise. He experienced concussion symptoms following the week 2 win at Tennessee and missed the next two games. He practiced on a limited basis three times this week, but was unable to complete the necessary steps in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

“He didn’t clear protocol,’’ Frank Reich said. “The steps you have to take, just not going to get there for the game.’’

Hilton and Mack probably will be game-day decisions.

Hilton insisted he was “feeling good, man,’’ earlier this week, but quickly added, “it’s up to the coaches’’ whether he plays against the Chiefs.

Ditto, Mack. He injured an ankle during the Raiders game.

“Just taking it day-by-day,’’ Mack said Friday. “I feel great. Just taking it slowly each day.’’

Does he expect to play Sunday?

“It’s up to coach Frank,’’ he said.

Regardless the health of the roster, the Chiefs await. They also head into the game at less than full strength. Starting left tackle Eric Fisher will miss a third straight game with a groin injury. Game-breaking wideout Tyreek Hill will miss a fourth consecutive game with a shoulder injury.

While others are out, others must step up.

“There are no excuses for anything,’’ said George Odom.

A special teams standout, Odom is in line to join rookie Khari Willis as the starting safeties. He has appeared in 22 games in two seasons with two starts. Willis heads into his second career start.

Quincy Wilson, a 10-game starter at cornerback in three seasons, worked at safety this week to bolster depth at that position.

“Even last week I prepared like I was going to start,’’ Odom said. “I was thinking that the whole time. This week I came in with the same approach.

“I’m here and I’m ready.’’

There’s no overstating the enormity of the challenge awaiting the Colts’ defense at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Kansas City offense ranks 2nd in the league in yards per game (474.8), 1st in passing (373.0) and tied for first in scoring (33.8). Quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards (1,510), passer rating (120.4) and yards per attempt (9.7). He has 10 TD passes and has yet to suffer an interception while being sacked just three times

Remember when?

The rash of injuries as the Colts head to Kansas City is reminiscent of their week 5 trip to New England last season. By the end of the 38-24 loss to the Patriots, Reich had about 40 players at his disposal.

Seven players had been ruled out of the game, which filled up the pre-game inactive list: Hilton, Mack, Wilson, Jack Doyle, Kenny Moore II, Hassan Ridgeway and Denzelle Good. Three of the six players listed questionable did not play: Leonard, Anthony Castonzo and Nate Hairston.

During the game, Geathers, Walker, Denico Autry and Matthias Farley were forced to the sideline by injury.

Tom Brady took full advantage of the depleted defense by passing for 341 yards and two TDs. The Colts did manage interceptions from Fraley and Najee Goode.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51

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