A wise man once said bad things come in threes. Well, how about fours?
The Colts are already playing what looks to be a lost season with their four-time MVP quarterback calling plays from the press box instead of the huddle. Further agony was added at the quarterback position when Kerry Collins, the retiree summoned out of his creaky rocking chair to replace Peyton Manning, left Indy’s loss to Pittsburgh Sunday night due to
age concussion-like symptoms.
So that’s two, and those still brave enough to watch Colts games were already booking their therapy sessions for later this season. Now being a shrink could become a highly profitable Indianapolis business venture.
The Colts announced Wednesday afternoon that veteran linebacker Gary Brackett and safety Melvin Bullitt will miss the remainder of the season with shoulder injuries. For Bullitt it’s the latest setback in what’s become a recurring problem. He missed 12 games last year with the same ailment after first suffering the injury early last October. He’ll now be limited to appearing in just six games over the past two seasons.
Brackett is the team’s defensive captain, and has been a steady if not spectacular presence in the Colts’ front seven since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He played in Indy’s Week 1 loss to Houston and had an interception, but was injured the following week against Cleveland. Brackett’s had four seasons with at least 95 tackles, and has often been the lone consistent run-stopper for the Colts while playing the vital cornerstone position of middle linebacker.
Now a defense that’s allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns in the league through three weeks and has surrendered an average of 113.3 rushing yards per game has to overcome two key losses, all while likely still being put in vulnerable positions due to the ineffectiveness of the Colts’ offense. Pat Angerer will slide over to replace Brackett, and he provides some hope and optimism as an emerging linebacker who has 130 tackles over just 19 career games.
Philip Wheeler had five tackles last week, and will now be relied on more in a starting role with Angerer moving over. Nate Triplett was signed when Brackett first went down to provide depth among the linebacker corps, and A.J. Edds was also signed off the practice squad today.
Bullitt will be equally difficult to replace, with the Colts’ depth at safety also unproven. David Caldwell, an undrafted free agent in 2010, will likely be pushed into a starting role, and rookie Joe Lefeged may also receive increased playing time.
An ever-changing Colts roster also saw the return of a familiar face at quarterback when Dan Orlovsky was signed today. Depending on Collins’ health, it could be either Orlovsky or Curtis Painter starting Monday Night against Tampa.
Translation: score some points with the wife/girlfriend by taking her out Monday, and say that you’re missing a massively important game.