AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Deshaun Watson


  • The Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson reports Colts DT Robert Windsor suffered a “hip and core injury” which landed him on injured reserve and out for the season. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer guesses Colts LB Darius Leonard will end up signing a deal in the range of four years and $78 million sometime in the next few weeks. 
  • Colts GM Chris Ballard said Leonard had minor ankle surgery in June, but it isn’t serious: “We’ll monitor him as we go forward.” (Jim Ayello)
  • Ballard mentioned the team is over a 60 percent vaccination rate. (Ayello)
  • Ballard said the Colts had another staff member test positive for COVID besides HC Frank Reich, but contact tracing showed the two were unrelated. (Joel A. Erickson)
  • On working on extensions with Leonard and OG Braden Smith, Ballard mentioned that they’ve made progress: “We’ve had a great back-and-forth. Getting these early extensions done aren’t always easy. But we wanna take care of our own.” (Keefer)
  • Ballard added he isn’t taking position value into account during contract negotiations: “You’re never gonna regret paying a great player. I don’t give a crap what position you are.” (Bremer)
  • Ballard doesn’t want to put a timeline on when LT Eric Fisher or second-round DE Dayo Odeyingbo will be ready to return from their Achilles injuries: “As soon as I put something on that, it’ll bite me.” (Erickson)
  • Ballard said the kicking competition between Rodrigo Blankenship and Eddy Pineiro will be good competition: “Rod had a great year last year, but iron sharpens iron.” (Erickson)


Texans DL Maliek Collins is hoping Houston will give him an opportunity to prove himself.

“I just needed an opportunity and I thought it was a great opportunity for a team trying to build a team with a fresh start,” Collins said, via Aaron Wilson. “And, quite honestly, I needed a fresh start, too, so it was the best place I could have picked. Of course being back in Texas is good. I still live up in Dallas, so I’m good.”

Collins also explained that he wants to be a leader and key contributor.

“I can move a little bit,” Collins said. “That’s my game: penetrate and get off the ball, redirect. I hope to bring a sense of leadership. I hope to bring some juice on the inside, not to say that there wasn’t juice here. There’s a lot of key people that are dogs, too. I’m just trying to come in and contribute.”

Texans DL coach Bobby King said Collins has been a great addition to the room.

“He’s as advertised as a person and as a player so far,” King said. “I’m excited to work with him. Yes, he does have some juice and I’m expecting some good things out of him.”

Deshaun Watson

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that, based on his reading of the CBA’s section on the commissioner’s exempt list, the NFL has pretty wide latitude to put Texans QB Deshaun Watson on the list. The fact they haven’t means they either don’t have enough evidence or aren’t close enough to closing the investigation into the 22 allegations of sexual misconduct. 
  • Breer adds Watson’s relationship with Texans owner Cal McNair remains bad, bordering on irreparable, and if anything has only gotten worse since this situation started earlier this year. 
  • He also gets the sense Texans GM Nick Caserio is determined not to sell low on Watson, even if it means waiting things out. 
  • Breer believes the Eagles, Dolphins, Broncos and Panthers are still monitoring the situation with Watson and are teams to watch for a potential trade. 
  • ESPN’s Sarah Barshop says the Texans have had preliminary discussions with other teams but don’t feel like they’ve gotten any serious offers. Houston is willing to trade Watson before the start of the season if it finds the right match. 
  • According to PFF’s Doug Kyed, Houston’s asking price in a trade is why there hasn’t been a deal yet, as teams are hesitant about Watson’s legal troubles.
  • Watson’s personal QB coach, Quincy Avery, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter he’s confident Watson will ultimately be traded: “I’m 100% sure he’ll be traded at some point in the coming future. I think the Texans have made the decision to move on. He doesn’t want to be there, they’re ready to move on; all they’re waiting for is fair market value for him, and they’ll get a lot.”
  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo says Watson is continuing to insist on not having any non-disclosure agreements as a part of a settlement. 
  • Ten women have filed complaints against Watson with the Houston police department, per his attorney Rusty Hardin, and two of those are not among the 22 women suing him in civil court. (John Barr)
  • Hardin added the NFL has yet to talk to Watson as part of its own investigation, which probably won’t happen until after the criminal investigation concludes: “We’ve made it clear to the NFL that we’ll totally cooperate with them when they’re ready to visit with us. But they, out of deference to the criminal investigation, always try to wait until that’s completed before they try to talk to the accused person.”
  • He mentioned depositions for the women in the case are scheduled to start in September. 

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