INDIANAPOLIS – Quenton Nelson’s streak is over, and the Indianapolis Colts once again will be dipping deep into their depth as they look to curtail their season-opening 0-3 funk.
The team’s three-time first-team All-Pro left guard will miss Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins with a high sprain to his right ankle. It snaps Nelson’s streak of 54 consecutive starts, including the playoffs, since being selected with the 6th overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Four other starters also were ruled out of Sunday’s game: rookie defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring), right tackle Braden Smith (foot), safety Khari Willis (ankle/groin) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle).
Nelson’s absence demands the most attention. He’ll be replaced by Chris Reed, one of general manager Chris Ballard’s offseason free-agent acquisitions.
“He’s an elite leader, not just an elite player,’’ coach Frank Reich said Friday. “But we’ll pick up the energy.
“What we talked about this week is the energy and that stuff . . . more than anything it comes from execution, from playing good football.’’
The Colts are optimistic Nelson won’t be sidelined very long considering the nature of a high ankle sprain. He sustained the injury early in the second quarter of last Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.
The team is keeping open the possibility of him returning for the Oct. 11 meeting with the Ravens in Baltimore on Monday Night Football.
“Hopefully he’s on the shorter side (of returning),’’ Reich said. “We’ll see what that means. I would say that from where we were two days after the injury to where we are now, we’re trending in the right direction.
“I wouldn’t rule (the Ravens game) out because we do have the extra day.’’
Other injury matters
Smith will miss his third straight game after straining a foot in the opener against Seattle. The team considered placing him on the injured reserve list, which would have meant missing at least three games, but thought his rehab time would be short.
“It was the kind of injury we didn’t have a definitive timetable,’’ Reich said. “We were trying to be a little optimistic. He’s an important enough player that we said, ‘Hey, let’s err on the side of (caution) and it hasn’t been the shorter (side). This has been the longer side of the window.’’
Either Julién Davenport or Matt Pryor will start in place of Smith.
With Willis out, recently-signed Andrew Sendejo makes his first start for the Colts.
The Dolphins’ offense took a hit when starting center Michael Deiter suffered foot and quad injuries during Wednesday’s practice. That might land him on the injured reserve list.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.