AFC South Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans


Per’s Kevin Bowen, Colts GM Chris Ballard acknowledged even his kids were asking him why QB Chad Kelly wasn’t playing to end the season. Ballard said they want Kelly to still prove he’s matured from a series of off-field incidents that landed him on his last chance in Indianapolis.

“He’s got some natural playmaking to him,” Ballard said. “Do I think he has a future in the league? Yes, I do. Does he continue to have to earn trust each and every day? Yes.”

Kelly impressed during the preseason by completing nearly 75 percent of his passes, but the Colts cut him after he served his two-game suspension to open 2019 and brought him back to the practice squad. He was promoted later in the year following an injury to starting QB Jacoby Brissett, but never dressed for a game. 

“The first time we cut him, he had this look of, ‘You are going to cut me?’” Ballard said. “I said, ‘Damn right I’m cutting you and you are going to go to the practice squad and you are going to continue to work and continue to do the things that we are asking you to continue to do.’”

  • The Athletic’s Zak Keefer says the Colts could both draft and sign a tight end given how important they feel the position is. While Indianapolis extended TE Jack Doyle, TE Eric Ebron will likely leave in free agency. 
  • Keefer also believes the Colts will try and find a pass-rushing defensive tackle, with Cowboys DT Maliek Collins a potential free-agent option. 
  • Keefer writes the Colts will likely expend significant energy this offseason trying to determine if Oregon QB Justin Herbert or Utah State QB Jordan Love can be a franchise quarterback — and if they can what it will take to go get them. 


  • According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans C Greg Mancz underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery. He’s expected to be ready for OTA’s. 
  • The Texans fired a number of staff members on Tuesday, including director of player engagement J.J. Moses, assistant strength coach/performance therapist Billy Voltaire, assistant strength coach Jason George, executive assistant for football administration Eva Graham and pro and college scouting administrative assistant Amber Davies. (Wilson)
  • Wilson mentions Moses was recently recognized by the NFL as having the top player engagement program in the league. 


Titans QB Ryan Tannehill head into the offseason having done nearly everything he could to make the most of his second chance. After taking over as the starter, Tannehill put together arguably the best stretch of play of his career, throwing for a career-high 9.6 yards per attempt, 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions, guiding Tennessee to within a game of a Super Bowl. Now he waits to see if it was enough to earn him a long-term deal with the Titans. 

“I think it will work out the way it’s supposed to,” Tannehill said via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “There is stress involved – you never know what is going to happen. A lot of things have to happen to get it nailed down. If it doesn’t happen then I’ll head to free agency and we’ll see what happens there. Who knows what is out there on the horizon? I’ll just try not to stress out about it and believe that it will work out the way it is supposed to and try and make the best decisions along the way.”

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