The Indianapolis Colts have activated star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner from the reserve/COVID list, the team announced on Friday. Buckner was placed on the reserve list last week following a reported positive test for the coronavirus. That, of course, forced him out of last week's game against the Tennessee Titans where his presence was sorely missed. That absence, however, appears like it'll be for just one week as he's now eligible to suit up in Indy's Week 13 matchup with the Houston Texans.
Without Buckner entrenched in the front seven last week, Titans running back Derrick Henry ran wild on this Colts defense en route to the 45-26 blowout. Henry finished with 178 yards on the ground on 6.6 yards per carry. He also scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half. While there's a case to be made that Henry was simply an unstoppable force back in Week 12, having Buckner, who has 40 tackles this season to go along with 16 quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks, certainly would have helped stop the bleeding a bit.
Despite the loss, Indy is still inside the current NFL playoff picture as the No. 7 seed. What that Week 12 loss did, however, was oust the Colts as the top dog in the AFC South as Tennessee has now leaped over them for the division lead and the No. 4 seed in the conference.
With Buckner back in the fold, they'll look to keep pace in the division and keep their standing as a playoff team intact when they visit Houston. This could be a rather tasty matchup for Buckner as the Texans have struggled to keep star quarterback Deshaun Watson upright at times this season as he's been sacked 28 times, which is tied for fifth-most in the NFL.
Along with Buckner, the Colts have also activated defensive lineman Denico Autry, who leads the team in sacks, and running back Jonathan Taylor off the COVID-19 reserve list this week.