Injuries, which have been a continuing issue for the Indianapolis Colts this season, will keep three veterans off the field Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Safety Tom Zbikowski (knee) and running back Donald Brown (ankle) had already been ruled out of this weekend’s AFC South clash with Tennessee (4-8). Offensive guard Joe Reitz (head) joined that group Friday.
Reitz had suffered from concussion-type symptoms since the first quarter of last Sunday’s game at Detroit. He did not return to play against the Lions and has not practiced this week. Veteran Seth Olsen, who had been on injured reserve, was activated Wednesday and will start at left offensive guard.
“We’re not going to risk his health at this point in time. I think he’ll probably pass the [NFL-mandated concussion protocol] test within a day or so. But we’re not going to risk that. Everyone else will be game-time decisions,” interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians confirmed Friday.
Zbikowski and Brown also have not practiced this week. Offensive tackle Winston Justice, who also suffered from concussion-type symptoms in the Detroit game, missed Wednesday’s workout but saw limited practice time Thursday and Friday.
Safety Antoine Bethea (neck), quarterback Andrew Luck (knee) and defensive end Cory Redding (ankle) all fully practiced Friday. Bethea had sat out Thursday’s workout, as did outside linebackers Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. Mathis and Freeney were both given time off this week in order to rest their bodies in preparation for the Titans.
Justice is listed as questionable for the Tennessee game. Bethea, Luck and Redding are all probable.
• If not Reggie? — Arians was asked Friday where did he think the Colts would be this year had veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne not returned to the team. Wayne’s contract had expired at the end of last season and he was re-signed in March.
“I don’t know to know that. We would desperately miss his leadership, the quality of a player he is. So whether we would be 8-4 without him, I couldn’t say,” Arians voiced. “But I doubt that we would have made as much progress, especially in the receiver room with all the young guys and Andrew [Luck] without him.”
• Angerer plugging away — Inside linebacker Pat Angerer has been playing hurt for most of the 2012 season. Angerer suffered a foot injury on the first play of the Colts’ initial preseason game and didn’t return until October.
While the foot is still not completely healed, that hasn’t stopped the former Iowa standout from trying to help out as much as he can under the circumstances.
“He’s gutting it out for the team. He’s a true warrior. I don’t think there’s probably anybody else more respected in that lockerroom than Pat for doing that,” Arians said. ” He could have easily gone on injured reserve and tried to fix [the foot] again. But he wants to play football. And 85 percent of him might be better than 100 percent of a lot of guys.
“I think he’s disappointed in the season just because he can’t do some of the things he’s used to doing. He still gives us a savvy, tough, hard-nosed football player that knows how to play the game. We’ve got some teams that like to run the football coming up soon and he should be a big part of it.”
• Barrett, Hurt to be honored Sunday — A pair of former Indiana State players who are now high school coaches will be honored during the Titans game.
Terre Haute North’s Chris Barrett and Castle’s Doug Hurt will be among a group saluted by the Colts as part of the team’s “High School Coaches of the Week.”
A luncheon for the weekly winners was conducted at the Colts’ headquarters Friday. The group was invited in to watch Indianapolis practice Friday afternoon.