AFC Notes: Colts, Dolphins, Texans


Colts’ HC Frank Reich believes that QB Philip Rivers has shown that he is certainly capable of playing in 2021.

“At the way he’s playing right now…we said when we got him here, I said Philip is more than capable,” Reich said, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. “If he wants, he has multiple years of good football ahead of him. I really believe that.”

Reich also mentioned how the team developed the idea of letting LG Quenton Nelson take reps at left tackle.

“He’s taken some reps during scout team,” Reich said. “That’s really where it kind of started. That’s where we noticed he looked pretty good doing it, so that’s where we talked about it the possibility at the beginning of the week, moving him out there. Later in the week, rather than just have him run scout team reps, we did get him a couple of reps with the first team at left tackle. We thought it seemed good that AC would be able to go (against the Raiders). But we weren’t 100 percent sure, so we kept Quenton in the mix. Still had confidence in Chaz, but Quenton is Quenton Nelson. And that (left tackle) spot is very important so we knew if we put him out there, he is the kind of player that would rise to the occasion. Looking at the tape of the handful of snaps that he got in there, he looked good. His pass sets looked really good. Not surprising, but just knew he would be up for the challenge.”

  • Per Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star, Colts ST coordinator Bubba Ventrone said P Rigoberto Sanchez could be back practicing with the team this week. Sanchez recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. 


  • According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Dolphins WR DeVante Parker suffered a slight hamstring strain in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. His status for Week 15 against the Patriots is to be determined. 
  • Per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Dolphins OC Chan Gailey said he hasn’t thought about coaching in 2021 yet. He’ll turn 69 soon and was out of football for three years before coming back in 2020: “It’s been very interesting with COVID and everything that’s gone on. It’s been so interesting this year. Challenging in many ways. I don’t have a plan. I’m taking it one day at a time right now. Haven’t thought about [2021].”
  • Beasley mentions RB coach Eric Studesville and TE coach George Godsey as some potential internal options to replace Gailey. 
  • Dolphins rookie WR Lynn Bowden had a strong game on Sunday and said that everyone on the team was ready to step up and fill in for their injured players on offense: “I’m gonna keep doing what I need to do to prepare. No pressure.” (Josh Tolentino)


While they are paying LT Laremy Tunsil big money, Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson has still taken a beating recently, as has the team’s morale. The Texans have also received less than ideal production from players like TE Jordan Akins and DE Whitney Mercilus.

Interim HC Romeo Crennel claimed that Watson was feeling the pressure with receivers Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller missing on Sunday.

“He has a lot of weight on his shoulders and he waits for the guys to come open,” Crennel said, via Aaron Reiss of The Athletic. “Earlier on, when he had the guys he was more comfortable with, he kind of knew and anticipated what they were able to do, and then he would be able to get rid of the ball. And a lot of times, it turned into big plays for us. But he has to understand that the guys that he’s working with now are not those guys that he used to work with, and so if they’re not open, you can’t wish them open. Then if you have to throw the ball away, throw the ball away, and we’ll line up and play another down.

“Even though the score was 30- or 33-7, I never felt like it was out of reach if we could have gotten a score or we could have gotten something to get started that might help us get the game closer. I don’t know what number that is when you say it’s out of reach. I think there may be a time on the clock that says a game is out of reach, and then at that time, you might consider whether to take guys out or put other guys in. In my mind, that’s a difficult thing because you’re talking about trying to win. A lot of times when you start taking guys out and putting other guys in, then you’re telling your team that you’ve given up, that the game is over. Maybe the game is over, but in competitors’ minds and athletes’ minds, the game is not over because there’s always a chance. That’s the way we look at it, and that’s the way we approach it.”

  • Texans S Justin Reid had surgery to repair the torn UCL in his thumb and his recovery outlook is strong. (Aaron Wilson)

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