AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans


Colts’ GM Chris Ballard is still under the impression that his linebacker group can match up against any in the National Football League.

“From a three-starter standpoint, I’d match them up with anybody in the league,” Ballard said, via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin. “Then we’re fortunate because we have a good backup crew with Zaire Franklin, Matt Adams, E.J. Speed and Jordan Glasgow.”

  • The Colts officially ruled out S Julian Blackmon (knee) for Week 1’s game and list LB Matthew Adams (ankle) as questionable.


Former Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette drew some attention when he said “for the first time in my life, I really have a quarterback” after landing in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady. Fournette threw a ton of former teammates under the bus with that comment, including current Jaguars starting QB Gardner Minshew. But the team voted Minshew a captain this week and WR DJ Chark came to his defense. 

“He now knows when he drops back, the entire locker room wants him to succeed . . . instead of wishing someone else was at QB,” Chark said via Ashlyn Sullivan of the team’s website.

  • Per’s John Shipley, Jaguars HC Doug Marrone reiterated he doesn’t see this season as a rebuilding year: “I don’t have the opportunity to go through a rebuild.”
  • Jaguars OC Jay Gruden said UDFA RB James Robinson impressed them with his receiving and blocking ability during camp: “I feel very confident in his demeanor and his approach to the game that he will be ready [Sunday].” (Shipley)
  • Gruden hasn’t had the benefit of preseason to see Robinson in action but he’s confident the rookie is ready for a starting job given the injuries at the position: “He’s ready to go. We’ll see when Sunday hits, the first time we give him the ball, the first time there’s a third-and-1 or we have to get a yard. We’ll see how he does, but we have every indication that we’ve seen in training camp that he can handle it.” (Shipley)
  • Jaguars DC Todd Wash said DL Adam Gotsis will have a role on defense as a run stopper, calling him a “really good first and second down player.” (Shipley)
  • Despite a number of key players forcing their way out of Jacksonville, Jaguars second-year DE Josh Allen is hoping to remain with the team long-term and turn things around: “I’m all in and I feel like my teammates know that, and [I] hope Duval knows that, and hopefully I can be here for a very long time and help change the franchise now, next year, three years, ten years, who knows how long.” (Demetrius Harvey)
  • While they view Chris Thompson as a change of pace/third-down back, Marrone said he doesn’t have a problem getting him as many carries needed. (John Reid)


Following Thursday’s loss to the Chiefs, Texans HC Bill O’Brien told reporters that they clearly have “a lot to fix” and “a long way to go” from here.

“There’s a lot to fix,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “We have a long way to go here obviously. We had trouble stopping the run. Our defense could not get off the field, so we got down. We have to improve very quickly this week.”

  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the Texans contacted Jadeveon Clowney about possibly returning to Houston before he agreed to his one-year contract with the Titans.
  • Florio says it’s unclear whether talks went far or whether Clowney seriously considered a return to the Texans.
  • According to Aaron Wilson, Clowney was uninterested in reuniting with the Texans after the team contacted him.

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