AFC Notes: Colts, Steelers, Texans


  • In a 53-man roster prediction,’s Kevin Bowen thinks the Colts will keep just two quarterbacks on the final roster and try to get sixth-round QB Sam Ehlinger to the practice squad. 
  • Bowen projects the Colts’ running back group as pretty stable, although he mentions he’s not convinced Jordan Wilkins is a lock as the No. 4 running back. 
  • At wide receiver, Bowen notes there should be a pretty intense battle for the final one or two receiver spots, with special teams and specific skillsets the differentiating factors between Ashton Dulin and Dezmon Patmon vs DeMichael Harris, J.J. Nelson and seventh-round rookie Michael Strachan.
  • Bowen has the Colts going with 10 offensive linemen to maintain depth given the extra 17th game and has G Jake Eldrenkamp over free-agent addition OT Julie’n Davenport and seventh-round OT Will Fries.
  • If Colts second-round DL Dayo Odeyingbo starts the season on the PUP list, that opens up an additional roster spot per Bowen. But it’s still a deep unit and Bowen has DE Ben Banogu and DT Taylor Stallworth on the outside looking in. 
  • Bowen gives the early nod in the kicking battle to Rodrigo Blankenship over Eddy Pineiro.


Steelers OC Mark Canada doesn’t shy away from the obvious: Pittsburgh will hit some bumps this year as they transition on the offensive line. The Steelers are breaking in five new starters after allowing LT Alejandro Villanueva and G Matt Feiler to leave in free agency, seeing C Maurkice Pouncey retire and releasing G David DeCastro. Chukwuma Okorafor will switch from right tackle to left tackle and the Steelers will rely on G Kevin Dotson, third-round C Kendrick Green, G Trai Turner and RT Zach Banner to hold it down. 

“There will be some growing pains as we all know,” Canada said via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “But to get to go up against our defensive line every day makes us better, and I feel really good about where the product will be in the fall when it matters.”

New Steelers OL coach Adrian Klemm hopes that what the line lacks in experience it makes up for in physicality. 

“We are going to make some mistakes and struggle,” Klemm said. “But one thing we aren’t going to do is be pushed around. It’s just not going to happen. We are going to be a physical group. I am passionate about it and love what I do. They are a reflection of me we are the reflection of each other.”


  • Josina Anderson reports that when it comes to the case of Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson, the league is still in “fact-finding and monitor mode.”
  • One NFL source told Anderson that in previous cases involving players on the Exempt List, league action was “accelerated around those seeking to remain with their current team.”
  • Anderson also reports that because there is league sentiment that Watson’s situation with the Texans is different, “there isn’t a need to do anything too early,” when it comes to potential punishment.

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