The Indianapolis Colts want to keep the good times rolling in Week 9, when they'll face the Pittsburgh Steelers on the heels of a three-game win streak that includes having defeated the Kansas City Chiefs at home and downing their AFC South rival the Houston Texans. They'll have to work toward a victory at Heinz Field without their top offensive weapon, however, as wide receiver T.Y. Hilton finds himself sidelined with injury.
The All-Pro suffered a calf injury in Wednesday's practice in preparation for the Steelers that, head coach Frank Reich announced to the media on Friday, won't simply cost him Week 9 -- but several games after. Hilton is expected to miss upwards of 3-4 weeks, which times up his potential return with the Colts second divisional clash against the Texans in Week 12.
This doesn't bode well for Jacoby Brissett and the Indy offense, to say the least, considering they're 0-5 when he isn't in the lineup.
The strength of schedule might be forgiving enough to give them a respite though, considering the Steelers and Mason Rudolph are still trying to figure things out and their next opponent, the winless Miami Dolphins, are clearly in tank mode. That isn't to say either game is a bye week for the Colts, because they'll need to batten down the hatches in the absence of Hilton to make sure they stay ahead of the second-place Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars -- the latter they'll face in three weeks -- in the race for the AFC South crown.
Brissett will now depend more on the capable hands of tight end Eric Ebron, yes, but others will need to step up in a big way.