May 28, 2024

The Indianapolis Colts and head coach Shane Steichen have reached a 5-5 record as they enter their Week 11 bye. Amidst challenges like injuries and position changes, several unresolved questions hover over the team. In this analysis, we will explore the top five inquiries that continue to linger for the Colts.

One of the primary concerns revolves around Jelani Woods, a tight end who exhibited promise as a rookie in 2022. Despite a notable debut season, he has not made any appearances in 2023, hampered by a hamstring injury sustained in training camp. This setback, coupled with the expectations surrounding Steichen’s coaching prowess, raises doubts about Woods’ potential return this season.

Nov 5, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann (79) during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The status of running back Zack Moss is another point of interest. While Moss played a pivotal role in the offense before Jonathan Taylor’s return, his workload has decreased since then. Despite ranking fifth in the NFL for rushing yards, there is speculation about Moss joining another team in 2024 during free agency, considering Taylor’s long-term role as the primary runner for the Colts.

LT Bernhard Raimann: 82.8 (547 snaps)
C Ryan Kelly: 81.2 (490 snaps)

RT Braden Smith: 79.2 (399 offensive snaps)

LG Quenton Nelson: 63.6 (677 offensive snaps)

RG Will Fries: 62.9 (658 offensive snaps)

The addition of Tony Sparano Jr., the former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants assistant offensive line coach, to lead the Colts’ protection has proven successful. The offensive line, previously a major concern, now ranks among the top 10 in the league. The question remains: can this peak efficiency be sustained in the final seven games of the season and potentially secure a playoff spot for the Colts?

Sep 24, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Gus Bradley during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

While the Colts’ defensive front and linebacker corps showcase strength, defensive numbers still fall short, prompting questions about coordinator Gus Bradley’s future. Despite criticisms, the team is tied for third in the league for most team interceptions, indicating progress in the secondary. The team’s performance in the remaining seven games may influence Bradley’s tenure with the Colts.

Total Yards Allowed Per Game: 358.5 (26th)
Total Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 228.8 (t-19th)
Total Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 129.7 (24th)
Total Points Allowed Per Game: 24.8 (25th)

The final area of concern centers around Shaquille Leonard, who has expressed dissatisfaction with the Colts’ utilization of him. Leonard faced challenges in the 2022 season due to lower back issues, leading to surgery and a lengthy recovery. In 2023, he has struggled to regain his efficiency, raising questions about the impact of his surgery and Bradley’s defensive scheme on his performance.

As the Colts head into their bye week, these lingering questions will likely shape the narrative for the remainder of the season, with fans and analysts eagerly awaiting answers to these pressing concerns.

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