INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts must produce a much-needed bounce-back game without one of their core offensive players and with their top draft pick iffy.
Jack Doyle, a two-time Pro Bowl tight end and quietly-efficient member of the offense, has been ruled out of Sunday’s home opener against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium with knee and ankle injuries.
The status of rookie wideout Michael Pittman Jr. is uncertain after the second-round draft pick sustained a toe injury in Thursday’s practice.
The Colts initially believed Doyle would miss more than one game with the injuries.
“At the outset we were thinking more than that and then if you get anything better than that, great,’’ Frank Reich said Friday on a Zoom conference call. “But we’re not counting on that at this point. There’s no reason for us to project that at this point.’’
Reich added Doyle is “making good progress, but it’s just too early to tell.’’
Doyle’s absence is compounded by Trey Burton missing at least the first three games with a calf injury.
The only healthy tight ends on the active roster are Mo Alie-Cox and rookie Noah Togiai, who was claimed off waivers Sept. 6.
Considering how much Reich uses tight ends in his offense, it’s possible the team will add one of the two rookie tights on the practice squad prior to Sunday: Farrod Green or Charlie Taumoepeau.
As for Pittman, the team is in a wait-and-see mode.
“Just had a little incident yesterday in practice,’’ Reich said. “We’ve just got to see how that responds over the next 48 hours.’’
This story will be updated.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.