By Christina Rivers

The Indianapolis Colts have been working all week in preparation for their wild card game against the Cincinnati Bengals with several players on the roster coming back from one injury or another. Several players were either non-participants or limited on Wednesday, but by Thursday all players were ready to go except offensive linemen A.Q. Shipley (Center) and Hugh Thornton (Guard). 

Shipley suffered an ankle injury that has resulted in him being moved behind Kaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harris on the depth chart, indicating that Indianapolis will opt for a healthy Holmes against the Bengals. Similarly, Thornton who has been battling a shoulder injury will be replaced by Lance Louis at right guard. Against the Bengals, the Indianapolis starting offensive line should be (left to right): Anthony Castonzo, Jack Mewhort, Holmes, Louis and Joe Reitz.

One thing that the Colts will benefit from is a healthy offensive line to allow quarterback Andrew Luck the time he needs to create an explosive offense. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus was placed on the injured-reserve list to make room for David Arkin (offensive guard) to be signed from the practice squad and wide receiver Kadron Boone to be signed to the practice squad.

Also on offense, it appears that wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dwayne Allen, who were limited in practice on Wednesday, are ready to go against Cincinnati. Wayne wasn’t about to let a groin injury keep him out of a playoff game and with Hakeem Nicks, T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief in place, Luck will have plenty of targets. If Allen were forced to leave the game, a very capable Coby Fleener will be the go-to tight end. Jack Doyle could also see playing time.

The remaining injuries were to defensive players Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), Erik Walden (knee) and Bjoern Werner (shoulder). The three were all able to fully participate in their final practice and are probable for the wild card showdown.

 Inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is pumped for the opportunity to play in the post-season. Jackson spent time during the offseason envisioning what a post-season would be like, having yet to experience it in his veteran NFL career. When asked about if he’d played a game with stakes as high as they are against Cincinnati, Jackson said, “Never. Maybe back in high school, but not at this level. Not at all.”

Jackson leads the Colts in tackles. “There were times in Cleveland I thought I was going it was going to be (playoff) time, but that’s what keeps you motivated, keeps you working out…eating right, the challenge. It got to the point where I was just blessed to be able to still play this game, still have my health.” Jackson called the playoffs a “bonus” and that being the AFC South division champions with the Colts make him humbled to be with Indianapolis.

Colts Injury Recap

 Probable

  • Dwayne Allen (TE, knee)
  • Josh Cribbs (S, not-injury related)
  • Jerrell Freeman (ILB, hamstring)
  • Joe Reitz (G, ankle)
  • Erik Walden (OLB, knee)
  • Reggie Wayne (WR, groin)
  • Bjoern Werner (OLB, shoulder)

Doubtful/Out

  • A.Q. Shipley (C, ankle)
  • Hugh Thornton (G, shoulder)

For more Colts news and updates, visit Colts Central.

Christina Rivers has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers and National Football League professionally as a reporter and photographer for over a decade. Rivers studied exercise physiology and sports psychology at Brigham Young University as a student-athlete. Christina is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. Her work can be found on
Examiner.com.

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