INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A short week isn’t the only thing working against the Indianapolis Colts.
The final injury report for Thursday night’s meeting with the Denver Broncos in Lucas Oil Stadium lists five players out, four of them front-liners: center Ryan Kelly (concussion), rookie nickel corner Nate Hairston (concussion), cornerback Rashaan Melvin (hand), wide receiver Donte Moncrief (ankle) and tight end Darrell Daniels (hamstring).
For a second straight week, the Colts were optimistic Kelly would be cleared by an independent neurologist and return to the lineup. For a second straight week, that wasn’t the case.
The anchor of an inconsistent offensive line will miss a third straight game and seventh overall.
Anthony Fabiano filled in for Kelly in last Sunday’s overtime loss at Buffalo, making just his sixth NFL appearance and second career start. He had replaced Mike Person, who started at Jacksonville but was limited to back-up duty against the Bills due to an ankle injury.
The revolving door at center has reached historic proportions.
For the first time since their relocation in 1984, the Colts have started four centers: rookie Deyshawn Bond, Kelly, Person and Fabiano. Bond, the Warren Central High School product, started the first four games while Kelly was out with a foot injury. Bond suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury Oct. 1 at Seattle.
The Colts started three centers in 2014: A.Q. Shipley, Jon Harrison and Khaled Holmes.
Hairston’s loss due to the concussion further stresses the secondary. Melvin will miss a third consecutive game after dislocating a bone in his right hand.
The healthy cornerbacks: rookies Quincy Wilson and Kenny Moore II, Chris Milton and D.J. White.