The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Indianapolis Colts. Like a lot of teams, the Colts will have two goals in mind over the next week or so: get healthy and make adjustments. For Peyton Manning and company, the latter could be a difficult task.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting, via Pro Football Talk, that Colts tight end Dallas Clark could be out for the season with a wrist injury. Clark will be “sidelined indefinitely” with a wrist and hand issue, and given his history of playing through bumps, bruises, and minor injuries we have to assume it’s something pretty serious. Without Clark, Manning would be missing one of his favorite targets and a go-to guy in the red zone and on third down when the chains need to be moved.
The Colts are already dealing with injuries to their backfield with Donald Brown out and Joseph Addai aggravating his shoulder two weeks in a row. Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez hasn’t been healthy in quite some time, but Manning has established some chemistry with Austin Collie during his absence. Indianapolis relies heavily on the pass to begin with, ranking 2nd in the NFL in passing yards per game and only 24th in rushing yards.
If anyone has the ability to make an offensive adjustment, it’s Peyton Manning. But adjusting to life without Clark is probably one of the biggest he’ll ever have to make. It’s tough to find a replacement for a guy who has caught 30 touchdown passes over the past three-plus seasons.