One voice determines open/closed Lucas Oil Stadium discussion

Colts

Jim Irsay

INDIANAPOLIS – The discussion will take place, probably sometime Saturday, regarding the status of Lucas Oil Stadium’s retractable roof and sliding window.

Open or closed?

Chris Ballard will offer input. Ditto, Frank Reich. T.Y. Hilton won’t be part of the discussion although he undoubtedly would offer a thumb’s down on an open-air venue after glaring sun that poured through the open roof cost him a touchdown in last Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Only one voice matters.

“That’s the big boss,’’ Reich said Friday on a Zoom conference call. “We go by whatever he says.’’

That would be owner Jim Irsay.

As was the case when the Vikings visited, weather shouldn’t be an issue Sunday with the New York Jets in town. The forecast is for temperatures in the low 80s and partly cloudy skies.

The decision – open or closed – must be made 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

The general rule: when the weather allows, open ‘em up.

“I think it’s cool that we’ve got that roof,’’ Reich said. “I think the mindset is, ‘Hey, when we can open it, we’re going to open it.’

“Is the sun a factor? Yeah. The stadium’s been open since 2008. The roof’s been open quite a bit. Did T.Y. lost that ball in the sun? Yes, he lost the ball in the sun. It was a fluke that he lost it in the sun, but he did. But that happens. You don’t worry about it.’’

For the record, the Colts have played 97 games in Lucas Oil Stadium, including the playoffs, and used their home-field advantage to post a 63-34 (.649) record.

The roof/window breakdown:

Buttoned up: 43-20 (.683)

Roof and window open: 10-9 (.526)

Roof open, window closed: 9-0 (1.000)

Roof closed, window open: 1-5 (.167)

“You just let Mr. Irsay make the call that he’s going to make,’’ Reich said. “I tell them every week, ‘Open, closed, it doesn’t matter to us. We’re good.’’’

That doesn’t mean Reich doesn’t lobby when the situation warrants. Maybe it’s going to be an exceptionally windy afternoon. Not surprisingly, Adam Vinatieri preferred ideal conditions.

“Even though the stadium closes off the wind a little bit . . . I will occasionally drop a hint, ‘Well, you know if there’s any consideration to closing it this week, I’d be okay with that,’’’ Reich said.

On the flip side, perhaps the opposing quarterback lacks a bit of arm strength and windier conditions might exacerbate his physical shortcoming. In that case, Reich might suggest hitting the button to open the two 2.5 million roofing panels.

“Mr. Irsay’s great,’’ Reich said. “If I have an opinion, he’ll listen to it and we’ll talk it through. And I actually think sometimes, how strong of an arm does the opposing quarterback have that we play? Yes, I do think there are instances when I might say, ‘Hey, here’s my reason why I would like the roof open.’

“Factors like that do go into it when they come into play, which isn’t a whole lot. But I do voice my opinion.’’

Reich hasn’t asked Philip Rivers’ view, but can guess his response.

“I just assume he’s like every other quarterback I’ve been around,’’ Reich said. “Considering he’s played in San Diego and L.A. his whole career, he’s used to good weather.

“If you ask a quarterback: ‘Sure, give me perfect conditions.’’’

Rivers’ arm strength isn’t an issue.

“Philip’s arm is still live,’’ Reich said. “You guys have seen it even in two games. I don’t worry about that with him.’’

Doyle questionable; procedure for Ya-Sin

Tight end Jack Doyle, who missed the Vikings game with a knee injury, went through a full practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday.

“We’ll see how he responds over the next 24-48 hours,’’ Reich said.

Linebacker Matthew Adams (ankle) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (illness) have been ruled out.

Ya-Sin will miss a second straight game with a stomach issue that first surfaced when he reported to Lucas Oil Stadium for last Sunday’s game. He was hospitalized and subsequently went through a “procedure,’’ according to Reich.

Reich was asked if Ya-Sin had his appendix removed.

“He just had a procedure that I’m really not going to shed any more light on,’’ he said, “but we are optimistic that he is healing quickly and will be back soon.’’

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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