INDIANAPOLIS — Jacoby Brissett came through the practice week unscathed and will start Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich held the 26-year-old quarterback out of last week’s loss against the tanking Miami Dolphins to rest a sprained MCL in his left knee.
Reich placed Brissett’s health at about 80 percent then. He declined to use a percentage as measurement Friday but made it clear he’s seen enough to be fully confident.
“I watched his every move every day for the last two years,” Reich said. “So I know what he looks like when he’s feeling good. (I) just needed to see him look like that.”
Final confirmation from team doctors sealed the deal.
So the Colts will get a major offensive piece back in the huddle as they attempt to snap a two-game losing streak.
The news elsewhere on offense was not as positive.
Wide receivers Parris Campbell (hand) and T.Y. Hilton (calf) were ruled out, and it looks very unlikely wide receiver Devin Funchess (clavicle) will be activated from the injured reserve this week.
That will again leave Indianapolis thin on the outside. Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson, Chester Rogers and undrafted rookie Ashton Dulin are the only receivers on the active roster.
Deon Cain and former Arizona Cardinals third-round pick Chad Williams are on the practice squad and could be called up to bolster depth.
The Colts are also hoping Brissett’s return will have an intangible impact on the offense.
The young quarterback impressed coaches early in his career with his ability to hold teammates accountable, and he’s increased that skill since taking over the starting job full time in August.
“He’ll get after guys — in a good way, but you know he’s not happy,” Reich said. “I’m not going to get into specific instances, but he just holds the bar really high for himself and for his teammates. That’s the kind of leader you need, especially from that position, and he’s doing a great job.”
Reich declined to name a specific player, but he shared a story from practice this week.
A rookie came out to the field on time, but too close to the deadline for Brissett’s liking. And the quarterback called the rookie on it, suggesting good enough shouldn’t be the standard Colts are held to.
“That kind of stuff is gold,” Reich said. “When you’ve got guys on the team who will talk like that and set the standard for how we want to do things that’s why — we said it right from the start, this guy has elite leadership capabilities. He has the locker-room credibility. He has everything that you need to back up that kind of talk.”
Like many football fans, Reich watched the end of Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers with a level of horror.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was suspended indefinitely Friday for swinging at Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s unprotected head with a helmet in his hand.
Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey also was suspended three games for punching and kicking Garrett in the aftermath of the incident. And Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi also was suspended one game for his role in the fracas.
Reich said the brawl was concerning enough he considered addressing his team about it.
“I have actually thought a lot about that,” Reich said. “Yeah, just because it was such an extreme example. I mean, it was such an extreme example. I mean, if it was just a normal fight, probably not. But this was something that I think none of us have ever seen anything to this extreme in a fight on a football field, and there is no place for it.
“In fact, I said something to (general manager) Chris (Ballard) today that at some point we have to talk about that kind of thing as a team because that was bad.”
In addition to Campbell and Hilton being ruled out, cornerback Pierre Desir (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game.
Tight end Mo Alie-Cox (hip) and running back Jordan Wilkins (ankle) are questionable.
Tight end Seth DeValve (oblique) was listed as doubtful for Jacksonville.