The Indianapolis Colts are currently 2-6 and have lost their last three games. The rest of the AFC South have exciting, young players and the Colts roster is just flat. They currently have one of the longest betting odds to win the Super Bowl. It could be just a matter of weeks before they are eliminated from playoff contention.
I realize the dumpster fires in Cleveland and San Francisco make the Colts look alright, but they are possibly the worst-coached team in the NFL. Indy head coach Chuck Pagano struggles to keep his team motivated. They are lucky to play three quarters a week and they find creative ways to lose games. They are long overdue for a head coaching change.
The silver lining to the early season troubles has always been that QB Andrew Luck was supposed to play soon. Well, it looks like Luck could miss the rest of the season due to lingering shoulder issues. He needed a cortisone shot shortly after a few days of throwing a football. Luck is ‘not close’ to returning to practice anytime soon.
The Colts don’t know why it is taking so long for Luck’s shoulder to be 100% healthy. He had a partial labrum tear in his shoulder and the surgery is not complicated. He was initially given a timetable of six-to-nine months and Colts owner Jim Irsay actually said he expected him to be Week 1 starter this season. He backed off of that date during training camp and now he isn’t even close to playing this season. He is set to meet with multiple shoulder specialists to pinpoint the issue.
After realizing Luck will be out for at least the first six weeks of the season, the Colts traded New England for QB Jacoby Brissett. He has played better than expected and has shown that he can be a solid backup for Luck in the future. Unfortunately, he has taken the same kind of punishment Luck has suffered the last few years. It’s hard to have a lot of success when your quarterback ends up on his back after every passing play.
One of the lone bright spots for the Colts was their first-round pick safety Malik Hooker. He had three interceptions in the first four games and was leading all rookies. Unfortunately, Hooker tore his MCL and ACL after taking a low blindside block against the Jaguars. The Colts defense hasn’t been the same and will continue to give up a lot of passing yards. It will be a miracle if Hooker can be ready to play at the start of the 2018 season.
It is time for the Colts to throw in the towel and give up this season. The injuries and the late-game collapses are just adding up. They might as well fire coach Pagano, since they have teased his firing the last two seasons without going through with it. General Manager Chris Ballard, who was hired this past offseason, can now hire his own head coach. There have been rumors since his hiring that he is interested in hiring Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub to lead the team. Ballard is familiar with him during his time as Director of Football Operations for the Chiefs.
As I said earlier, it might be impossible to ‘catch’ the winless 49ers and Browns for the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but they should shoot for a top-five pick. They could draft a pass rusher like LSU outside linebacker Arden Key or NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb. I would personally go for Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, but due to the success of rookie running backs this season, he could be off the board early. After poor drafts from the previous general manager, the Colts have no depth and they could even trade and move down since they have so many needs to fill.
The Colts should let Luck rest his shoulder and start again next training camp. Colts fans went through a ‘lost season’ when then QB Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery and missed an entire season. They went onto draft Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener & Dwayne Allen and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton in the following draft. They need another opportunity to draft early and gain that level of talent again…so it’s time to tank.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.