INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – We’re not talking about scoreboard watching. In this instance, we’re talking about watching TV.
The overriding concern for the Indianapolis Colts and their December push for a playoff spot is taking care of their business. And that would be Sunday’s meeting with the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I’ve been part of teams where you sit and ‘We need this to happen with this . . . ,’’’ Andrew Luck said. “It doesn’t work like that.
“You’ve got to handle your own business. So this locker room understands that and we are all about the process and getting better.’’
A return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 seemed a virtual impossibility Oct. 14 when a 42-34 loss to the New York Jets dropped the Colts to 1-5. Only two teams in NFL history have overcome a 1-5 start and reached the postseason: the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs and 1970 Cincinnati Bengals
Might the Colts make it a party of three if they can extend a current run that has seen them win seven of their last eight games?
There are several avenues leading to the postseason for a franchise on the rebound from last year’s 4-12 finish, but all include getting help in the form of at least one loss by either Baltimore or Pittsburgh. Also, the Colts must beat the Titans in Nashville Dec. 30 regardless of whatever else occurs.
And that brings us to the possibility of players paying attention to the Ravens’ Saturday prime-time test with the 11-3 Chargers in Los Angeles. They’ll have meetings on their agenda at the team hotel, but might take an occasional peek at how the Ravens are faring.
If Baltimore cooperates and loses – the Chargers have ample motivation; they’re tied with the Chiefs atop the AFC West – the Colts will understand everything is in their hands before they step on the field against the Giants. They would advance to the playoffs with a win over the Giants and by completing the seasonal sweep of the Titans, who are 0-10 against Andrew Luck.
Might Frank Reich mention that to his players?
“Honestly I have not even thought about addressing it because I haven’t been thinking about that. Really have not,’’ he said Friday. “Think I’ll just feel that out at the time.
“Right now I’m thinking we’re doing our thing and probably not address it. I don’t see why I would. I have that much confidence an belief that the guys are focused in on what they need to be focused on.’’
Luck stressed his focus always is on the next opponent. He insisted he wasn’t even aware the Ravens played Saturday night.
“We will have our meetings and if it’s on in the team room I’m sure it will be watched, but no different than any other college or NFL game that we always watch,’’ he said.
Safety Clayton Geathers (knee) is the only Colt ruled out of the Giants game. The list of questionables includes linebacker Anthony Walker (shoulder), wideout T.Y. Hilton (ankle), guard Mark Glowinski (ankle) and safeties George Odom (knee) and Mike Mitchell (calf).
Walker’s situation bears monitoring. Reich said his status will be a game-time decision. Like Geathers, he missed the entire week of practice.
The absence of Geathers and possible absence of Walker would be the latest blows to the defense. Nose tackle Al Woods, who had appeared in all 14 games with eight starts, was placed on the injured reserve list this week with an ankle injury. That would mean the Colts would face rookie running back Saquon Barkley without its three up-the-middle defenders: nose tackle, middle linebacker and strong safety.
Backup middle linebacker Skai Moore also was place on IR this week.
Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. will miss a third straight game with a quad injury. They also ruled out linebacker Alex Ogletree, center Spencer Pulley (calf) and wideout Russell Shepard.
Ogletree leads the Giants with five interceptions and is second with 93 tackles. Leading tackle Landon Collins (96) is on IR.