INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Playing short-handed has given the Indianapolis Colts a chance to check out their depth, and so far, they've survived.
This week, corner Vontae Davis and tight end Coby Fleener are out, but game-changer Robert Mathis returns after missing three games with a sprained knee. Coach Bruce Arians knows he's critical to his team’s success on and off the field.
"He's got a special fervor, a special passion,” Arians said of Mathis. “He gave a great speech before the last home game in the locker room. I thought it was great the way he did it, the way he presented it, challenged each guy. That heartbeat you can't replace."
Hopefully, the pass rush returns with 98 in the lineup — it hasn't been the same since. The other issue? Handling success. Because of the team’s recent victories, finally able to put together back-to-back wins, Arians is a little concerned his young team might start listening to all that chatter.
"As a veteran, you want to address that, not get into reading clippings or any of that," said veteran cornerback Jerraud Powers. "The only thing our main focus should be is winning ball games, Miami is up next. We’ve got to get number five. That should be our only focus."
The rookie quarterback was more vocal.
"Who cares if the playoffs started today? They don't, so it doesn't matter what our record is now, it's what it is after the last week," added Andrew Luck. "We realize it's a week-by-week thing. I know it's very cliche, but we're not looking ahead to anything, it's the Dolphins. It's great that people are saying great things about us, it's great that people are saying bad things about us, whatever."
One of the youngest teams in the league still has some guys who've been there before.