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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Colts offense searching for consistency

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For the first time in a long time, the Indianapolis Colts are relying on their defense to carry them to victory.

A team recognized primarily for their offense’s exploits, the injury-ravaged Colts offensive unit is a far cry from the confident squad that once left intimidated teams humbled in their wake.

Despite squeaking out a victory Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs to improve to an 8-2 record, the team’s struggling offense has yet to regain its familiar consistency. With Marvin Harrison sitting out his fourth consecutive game, the Colts posted their worst offensive output this season, mustering only 216 total yards.

Though the team refuses to make excuses for back-to-back poor showings, the difference in play from an injury standpoint is glaring.

“It’s tough, whenever you have your main bullets not in the chamber, it’s going to be tough,” said receiver Reggie Wayne. “But we can’t use that as an excuse, the guys in there are professionals as well.”

To make matters worse, it appears the list of Colts’ injured is greatly surpassing the list of players returning.

An already makeshift offense may lose lineman Ryan Diem and backup receiver Aaron Moorehead, who each left Sunday’s victory and did not return.

With only four games between contests, the immediate future does not appear promising injury wise. Approaching Thursday’s Thanksgiving contest versus the struggling 3-7 Atlanta Falcons, Colts head coach Tony Dungy refused to chalk up the Colts struggles totally to injury, though he admits they are even taking a toll on the practice field.

“I don’t know if (injuries) have caught up with us, we haven’t had the type of practices that we’d like,” he said. “We haven’t been in pads for quite a while because of the injuries we’ve had. But I think we’ll be fine. We’re capable of (good drives) and we’re used to doing it more often and not having 13-point games.”

Holding a slim lead in the AFC South, the Colts have little room for error. Aside from their division rivals, the Colts friendly schedule provides optimism they can return key players for the stretch run.

But with a return to division play upcoming, Thursday’s contest has regained relevance despite playing against a team still in turmoil from the Michael Vick saga.

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