Colts GM Chris Ballard believes their 3-1 record is a strong start to the season but they must focus on continuing to play well in Week 5.
“Yeah, we’ve got a lot to work on. We’re playing some good football, but we’ve got a lot of things to work on. Just a quarter of the season gone by, we haven’t done anything yet as far as I’m concerned, and I think the team has the same mentality. 3-1 is a great start, but we’ve still got 12 more games to go, and this is a long season and a long grind. I think Frank’s really good about this, with the message to the team that it’s on to the next game. We’re on to the next game and the next opponent, and that’s Cleveland, and that’s where our focus is right now,” said Ballard, via Kevin Bowen of 1075TheFan.
As for Colts’ veteran QB Philip Rivers, Ballard feels the quarterback is “playing at a really high level” and is happy they signed him over the offseason.
“Every game’s different, so there’s a way to win every football game. And Frank and his staff do a tremendous job early in the week of figuring out what we need to do and relaying that message to the team. To me, you judge quarterbacks by wins—plain and simple. Did we do what it takes to win the game? And I think Philip’s playing really at a high level, he’s completing over 70 percent of his throws. He had a couple turnovers in the first game, but in the last three games, other than the one botched whenever he hit Mo (Alie-Cox) and it bounced off Mo in the pick versus Minnesota, he’s been playing pretty flawless football and made some really big third-down throws this week versus Chicago. We couldn’t be more happy to have Philip here in Indianapolis,” said Ballard.
Regarding the Colts’ rookies in 2020, Ballard praised each of their recent selections.
“Well, they’re young players. I think with young players you’re going to have good moments and you’re going to have moments that you wish they do better. But we’re pleased with all of them, where they’re at. We thought (Michael) Pittman was coming on before the injury. We’ll get him back and he’ll get back to playing, but he was making a pretty good impact, we thought, especially in the Jet game and versus Minnesota on third down. We thought he was really coming on. Hopefully we can get him back in a few weeks. Jonathan (Taylor) has had some good games. We thought he ran the ball really well this last week. And then Julian Blackmon’s been good. Coming off the knee and really inserting him in the lineup after (Malik) Hooker went down, we thought Blackmon’s done some really good things. And all of our rookies have had some good moments. (Jordan) Glasgow had a blocked punt this last week. We like him in that role–when we drafted him as a special teams player. He’s getting better, still has a way to go, but he’s getting better and blocking that punt was a big moment. And then (Isaiah) Rodgers is getting some valuable play time, and I think he’s been close on a couple returns. His speed’s pretty evident when he’s out playing. So we’re very pleased with all those (rookies). They’re working, and they’re working to get better, and that’s all we can ask right now.”
- OUT for Week 5: T Anthony Castonzo (rib), LB Darius Leonard (groin)
- QUESTIONABLE for Week 5: LB Anthony Walker (ankle)
- According to Jacksonville.com’s John Reid, the Jaguars will move CB Tre Herndon inside to nickel corner and start Sidney Jones and seventh-round rookie Chris Claybrooks outside.
- QUESTIONABLE for Week 5: DE Josh Allen (knee), DT Daniel Ekuale (ankle), CB C.J. Henderson (shoulder), LB Myles Jack (ankle)
- Texans interim HC Romeo Crennel said that TE Jordan Akins is still in concussion protocol and will get tested again on Friday. (Mark Berman)
- QUESTIONABLE for Week 5: TE Jordan Akins (ankle, concussion), CB Keion Crossen (hamstring), RB Buddy Howell (hamstring), LB Peter Kalambayi (hamstring), LB Benardrick McKinney (shoulder)
A number of executives, who spoke with Mike Sando of The Athletic, believe the NFL should hit the Titans hard with punishment for the COVID-19 outbreak that has played out over the past few weeks.
- “I think they forfeit a game, lose a draft pick and incur a fine,” one executive tells Sando. “I’d nail them, but hopefully they can get their shit together after that and be able to play.”
- “I’m talking millions in fines just to the organization, enough so it really affects the bottom line in what is a challenging year already, and you need to fine the people in charge,” a separate executive tells Sando of potential punishment if the Titans are found to be negligent.
- “If there is clear evidence that people were violating policy, crush them because the consequences are too severe for the league,” an exec said. “As far as suspensions go, I would rather keep the impact limited to this season. The (COVID) policies are hopefully just for one year. I’d like next year to be as free from the COVID impact as possible. But you gotta send a message.”
- Tom Pelissero reports that the Titans could reopen their facility for the first time on Saturday since Sept 29 if they get another round of tests without a positive case.