Tue Nov 29 1:17am ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
Indianapolis Colts' Alec Pierce (14) cannot make a catch against Pittsburgh Steelers' Cameron Sutton (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts' Michael Pittman Jr. (11) makes a catch against Pittsburgh Steelers' Levi Wallace (29) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Quarterback Matt Ryan had the Colts in position to rally.
He'd brought them back from a 16-3 deficit against Pittsburgh and was driving late in the fourth quarter for a chance to force overtime or even win the game with a 2-point conversion. Then, suddenly and strangely, Indianapolis ran out of time and downs in what proved to be an inexplicable 24-17 loss to the Steelers.
By all appearances, Indy (4-7-1) appeared to be in no rush as the minutes and seconds ticked off the clock. The Colts didn't take their first timeout until they faced a fourth down with 30 seconds left.
Afterward, interim coach Jeff Saturday explained his reasoning.
''I didn't really feel like time was of the essence and I thought we had a good play called,'' Saturday said. ''Felt like we had time and would have timeouts afterward but never felt the pressure of needing the timeout. We were in that mode the whole second half, so it wasn't like a change for us.''
Ryan didn't seem fazed by the late-game decision-making, either.
Instead, the 37-year-old veteran - who has 46 career fourth-quarter comebacks and was 26 yards away from potentially tying Pittsburgh native Dan Marino for fifth most in NFL history - credited Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh defense for taking away Indy's pass routes.
There were other reasons the Colts lost, such as the botched handoff after they had driven to the Steelers 1-yard line. Not to mention Indy's terrible start that included zero total yards in the first quarter.
Still, the final sequence raised many questions. Would a timeout have given Parks Frazier a better opportunity to call his favorite plays?
Frazier took over as Indy's play-caller three weeks ago when coach Frank Reich was fired and Saturday was hired despite having never coached at the college or pro level.
Some wondered whether that inexperience was a factor in Indy's third straight home loss. The Colts have lost three of four and their playoff chances are slim at best.
''We already had the play called,'' Saturday said, referring to Ryan's scramble that took 29 seconds off the clock between snaps. ''As he got tackled, we knew where we were going. We had made that same play a couple times in the game and it worked, but it didn't work out there.''
Indy certainly could have managed the clock better.
With 2 minutes left and three timeouts, Ryan completed a 4-yard pass on fourth-and-3, but the Colts elected to let the clock run.
On the next play, Ryan was sacked and again the clock kept ticking. Ryan then scrambled for 14 yards on second down. Again, no timeout. Indy finally stopped the clock after Jonathan Taylor's third-down run went for no gain.
By then, it was too late.
Ryan's fourth-down pass to Parris Campbell was incomplete and all Pittsburgh had to do was take a knee to close out Indy's first Monday night home game in nearly 7 1/2 years.
''I thought we had plenty of time,'' Saturday said. ''We had plenty of timeouts, so I wasn't too concerned. This wasn't a press for time, we just didn't make enough plays.''
Indianapolis Colts LB Zaire Franklin posted a game-high 11 total stops with five solo tackles in Week 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh Steelers TE Zach Gentry, FB Derek Watt and WR Cody White each registered one reception apiece in Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts. Gentry had one target and minus-4 yards, Watt had a 1-yard catch and a 4-yard run on his two touches, while White was good for a 2-yard grab on his lone touch and target.
Pittsburgh Steelers SS Terrell Edmunds and LB Alex Highsmith each recorded one sack apiece in Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts. Edmunds ended up with six total stops, four solo tackles, the sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit, while Highsmith was good for six total stops, four solo tackles, the sack and two quarterback hits.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (shin) was injured in the Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the second half and is questionable to return. It's unlikely that Moore will return after he was seen limping to the locker room. He collided with teammate Zaire Franklin on a goal-line play in the fourth quarter and was removed from the game. Before leaving, Moore was leading the team with 10 tackles (seven solo) for the Colts defense. Losing Moore for an extended period of time would be a big blow to the Colts defense to close out the season, but we'll have a better idea of the severity of his injury in the coming days.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris left his team's Monday night game against the Indianapolis Colts with an abdominal injury and will not return. Harris injured himself during the second quarter of the contest and was ruled out shortly thereafter, leaving the backfield work for Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. Harris finishes his Week 12 contest with 10 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown while adding a four-yard catch. His status will be worth monitoring throughout the week as Pittsburgh gears up to face off against the Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 13.
New York Jets QB Mike White will be the starting quarterback for the Jets in Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: White had an outstanding Week 12 performance and probably will keep the job for the foreseeable future. He should be a starting option in two-quarterback leagues but is a risky option in standard leagues.
Washington Commanders WR Alex Erickson was returned to the practice squad Monday, Nov. 28, after being on the active roster for Week 12.
Seattle Seahawks WR Laquon Treadwell was returned to the practice squad Monday, Nov. 28, after being on the active roster for Week 12.
Arizona Cardinals WR Pharoh Cooper and TE Maxx Williams were returned to the practice squad Monday, Nov. 28, after being on the active roster for Week 12.
Baltimore Ravens WR DeSean Jackson was returned to the practice squad Monday, Nov. 28, after being on the active roster for Week 12.
Chicago Bears QB Nathan Peterman was returned to the practice squad Monday, Nov. 28, after being on the active roster for Week 12.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (ankle) is currently on the Reserve/Injured list, and head coach Sean McVay said he has not ruled out holding Kupp out for the rest of the season.
Fantasy Spin: Kupp is recovering from surgery and probably would be able to play in a few more games. Fantasy players should not count on Kupp returning before the end of the fantasy season.
Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford (concussion, neck) is still going through the concussion protocol, and head coach Sean McVay said he has not ruled out holding Stafford out for the rest of the season.
Fantasy Spin: Stafford has dealt with concussion issues over the last few weeks and could miss the rest of the season since the team is not fighting for a playoff spot. Fantasy players probably should avoid all of the Rams quarterbacks for the rest of the year.
The San Francisco 49ers signed veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins to their practice squad on Monday. Jenkins was released by the Tennessee Titans in March and never latched on with another team until now. In 14 games with the Titans in 2021, Jenkins had 54 tackles (38 solo), an interception, six passes defensed and a forced fumble. The 34-year-old will provide veteran depth for the Niners secondary the rest of the season with Jason Verrett (Achilles) and Emmanuel Moseley (knee) done for the year due to injuries. Jenkins was a Pro Bowler in 2016 with the New York Giants, when he had a sack, 49 tackles (44 solo), five tackles for loss, three interceptions, 18 passes defensed and a forced fumble in 15 starts.
The Detroit Lions placed defensive end Charles Harris (groin) on Injured Reserve on Monday and signed defensive end/linebacker James Houston to the active roster from the practice squad in a corresponding move. Harris missed the Thanksgiving loss to the Buffalo Bills last Thursday and four other games this year due to his groin injury, and now he'll miss at least the next four games while on IR. The 27-year-old has produced one sack, 14 tackles (10 solo), four QB hits and a forced fumble in his six games played for Detroit in his second season with the team. With Harris sidelined, expect Austin Bryant and John Cominsky to see more defensive snaps for the Lions.
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said he's confident that left tackle Terron Armstead (pectoral) will play again this year after getting hurt in the Week 12 win over the Houston Texans. Armstead doesn't have a return timetable, but McDaniel said he wouldn't rule out a return within a few weeks. The 31-year-old was diagnosed with a strained pectoral on Sunday. Not having Armstead for a Week 13 matchup against a scary San Francisco 49ers defense could pose some problems for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the rest of the Miami offense. It's likely that Greg Little will be asked to step up in Week 13 and protect Tagovailoa at left tackle.
New England Patriots WR DeVante Parker (knee) was limited during practice Monday, Nov. 28.
Fantasy Spin: Parker has been dealing with the injury for a few weeks but should be on the field for Week 13. He is coming off one of his better games and could be a possible flex option in deeper leagues.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Kylen Granson (illness) is officially inactive for Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Granson was unable to practice all of last week and was listed as doubtful for Week 12. Defensive end Kwity Paye (ankle) also missed practice last week and has been ruled out. With Granson sidelined for this contest, Mo Alie-Cox and Jelani Woods should split most of the tight end snaps for the Colts against Pittsburgh. The 24-year-old Granson will hope to make his return in Week 13 against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. None of Indy's tight ends are particularly attractive in fantasy as anything more as a touchdown-dependent TE2 in deeper leagues. Granson has 25 catches on 32 targets for 249 yards and no touchdowns in 11 games this year.
The Cleveland Browns waived quarterback Joshua Dobbs on Monday to make room on the active roster for quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was officially reinstated from his suspension. Watson will make his season debut for the Browns in Week 13 against his old team, the Houston Texans. Jacoby Brissett, who has started for Cleveland all year, will back up Watson the rest of the way. Kellen Mond will serve as the No. 3 signal-caller with Dobbs now out of the picture. If Dobbs clears waivers, the Browns will likely bring him back to their practice squad. The 27-year-old hasn't played in an NFL game since the 2020 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The New York Giants designated linebacker Azeez Ojulari (calf), defensive back Tony Jefferson (foot) and offensive guard Ben Bredeson (knee) to return from Injured Reserve on Monday, opening their 21-day window for the team to officially activate them from IR. Ojulari has been dealing with his injury since training camp, and he played in two games earlier this season before being shut down. All three players could be activated in time to play in Week 13 against the Washington Commanders if they prove their health in practice this week. Jefferson hasn't played since Week 5 against the Green Bay Packers. When Bredeson returns, he's likely to re-enter the starting lineup on the offensive line.