AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans


The Colts have been hit hard with the injury bug leading into the 2021 season with QB Carson Wentz and G Quenton Nelson both dealing with foot injuries and WR T.Y. Hilton out with a neck injury. However, HC Frank Reich says that their injury situations prompt the “next man up approach.”

In the NFL, you have to be ready for next man up,” Reich said, via Herald Bulletin. “You deal with what you have to deal with. I just think we’ve locked in. When you lock in mentally — we put a lot of weight on the mental reps that you can get. We talked through a lot of things. We do a lot of walk-thru stuff. Walk-thrus are not the same as getting live reps … but it means something.”

Reich continued.

It’s not like it’s nothing, and we’ve had a lot of that. Even when we have starting guys who have been injured, they still –Carson’s got a lot of walk-thru reps, and I think we’ve gotten a lot of work done there, for example.

Reich believes the adversity that the team has had to face early on will make them stronger in the long run.

I think that what we’ve been through already has kind of made us tougher,” Reich said. “I think we’ve experienced it. I think if you handle it well, and I think we have handled what we’ve had to handle well, I think it gives us confidence to handle whatever is going to come down the road.

  • Reich said Nelson is dealing with a flareup in his back that he described as an “occasional” occurrence: “He has something with his back, just has an occasional back flareup. And so just has a little back issue, and so we just want to try to get ahead of it and get him back on track.” (George Bremer)
  • Colts DT DeForest Buckner said he played all of 2020 with a dislocation of the “fourth MCP joint” in his right hand. (Joel A. Erickson)
  • Reich said Wentz (foot) was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice and will be available for Week 1. (Ian Rapoport)
  • Colts HC Frank Reich said there’s a chance for LT Eric Fisher (COVID-19) to play in Week 1 and hope to push him to start. (Joel A. Erickson)
  • Colts WR Parris Campbell was limited in Wednesday’s practice due to a lingering Achilles injury. (Ian Rapoport)


  • Regarding the Texans trading CB Bradley Roby to the Saints, HC David Culley explained that they feel capable of winning with the players they have: “Players always look at it as if everything is now. Every time we go out to play a game we’re going out to win and we feel like the guys we’re playing with right now are good enough to do that with.” (Aaron Wilson)
  • Texans GM Nick Caserio said he does not expect Deshaun Watson to play in Week 1: “I wouldn’t expect him to play. … I wouldn’t anticipate him playing this Sunday and we’ll recalibrate as we go.” (Adam Schefter)


Titans WR Chester Rogers said he wasn’t concerned about potentially being among the team’s roster cuts and that he’s prepared to contribute anywhere asked of him. 

“I manifest a lot of things, so I wasn’t sweating (cuts),” Rogers said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site. “I feel like I put in the work, and now I just have to continue to do what I did all through training camp and OTAs. My role is … I’ve got a role. I just have to make plays when the ball comes my way, from returns, to the slot, to wherever they’ve got me.”

Rogers feels that his opportunity in Tennessee is “just as rewarding” as when he signed on with the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2016. 

“This opportunity I have now is just as rewarding as when I came in as an undrafted free agent my rookie year. I really went out there and earned it every single day. I am not taking it for granted,” said Rogers.

Rogers points out that he’s able to line up as an inside receiver given A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are larger players. 

“You have guys like A.J., who is 230 pounds, and Julio who is (6-3),” Rogers said. “I am 5-11, 180 pounds, so to be able to give something different in the inside, it’s a 1-2 punch.”

As for spending last season on the Titans’ practice squad, Rogers called it a “mental year” as he recovered from a knee injury. 

“It was a mental year for me more than anything, rehabbing,” Rogers said. “It was just grasping the game, everything slowed down for me after a year off.”

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