INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis Colts team stricken by injuries and COVID-19 infections was not up for the task Sunday against the division foe Tennessee Titans.
The Titans take a one-game lead in the AFC South on a final score of 45-26.
Indianapolis had no answer for running back Derrick Henry. The NFL’s leading rusher rumbled for 178 yards and 3 first half touchdowns.
The Colts’ defense sorely missed linemen DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry, who missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19.
Indy reached the endzone on each of their first two drives, but after left tackle Anthony Castonzo exited the game with a knee injury, the offense ended their next five possessions with a punt.
Castonzo wasn’t the only offensive lineman the Colts were forced to play without. Pro bowl center Ryan Kelly missed the game with a neck injury. Rookie Danny Pinter made his first career start in his place.
Running back Jonathan Taylor also missed the game after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The Colts rushed for a season-low 56 yards.
Philip Rivers and the offense failed to get into a rhythm after Castanzo’s injury, though his numbers reflect a solid performance. The veteran played through a sore toe to complete 24 of 42 passes for 295 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His top receiver was T.Y. Hilton, who looked like his old self for the first time this season with 4 catches for 81 yards and his only TD of the year.
While little went right for the Colts’ defense, linebacker Darius Leonard again stuffed the stat sheet. He racked up 14 totals tackles, 1 sack and also knocked down a Ryan Tannehill pass.
Indianapolis will travel to Houston next week to face the 4-7 Texans, who have won three of their last four games.