Colts WR Being Evaluated Following Illegal Helmet Hit

Frank Reich

Getty Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich told the media one of the team's rookies is in the concussion protocol.

The tough first week of the regular season for Indianapolis Colts rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce will apparently continue.

Colts head coach Frank Reich told the media on September 14 that Pierce developed mild concussion-like symptoms after the matchup against the Houston Texans in Week 1. Pierce was entered into the NFL concussion protocol and will have to clear protocol in order to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.

Indianapolis evaluated Pierce after he sustained a helmet-helmet to collision against fellow rookie and Texans safety Jalen Pitre. The officials called Pitre for a 15-yard personal foul penalty — unnecessary roughness — on the play.


Pierce in Concussion Protocol

Following his evaluation on the sidelines immediately after the hit from Pitre, Pierce returned to the game.

This is what makes concussions so dangerous. Colts insider Joel A. Erickson reported Pierce continued to feel fine in the locker room after the game, but he started to develop symptoms hours later.

The contact between Pierce and Pitre was one of the more violent hits of the NFL’s opening weekend.

“It bent my face mask, so I had to get my face mask changed,” Pierce told Erickson. “It’s all good, though, jaw will be a little sore.”

It wasn’t really “all good” for Pierce, though, as he experienced a debut he might like to forget. Outside of the violent helmet-to-helmet collision, he received just 2 targets despite playing 47 offensive snaps. Both of Pierce’s targets came in the end zone, but he brought in neither of them.

The first target he dropped, which proved to be key in the game. Had Pierce caught the pass in the end zone, the Colts would have held a 9-0 lead with the extra point pending. Instead, Indianapolis failed to score any points on that drive and eventually fell behind in the game 20-3.

Pierce’s other target came minutes after Pitre’s big hit.

But the good news for Pierce is he played a lot. His 47 snaps ranked him third among Colts receivers in Week 1 behind only Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell. Pierce’s 47 snaps accounted for 51.09% of the team’s offensive snaps in the game.


Wide Receiver Depth for Colts

Indianapolis is still searching for a wideout to emerge as Matt Ryan’s No. 2 target behind Pittman, who led the Colts with 121 yards in Week 1. But the good news is the Colts do have depth behind Pierce.

Ashton Dulin, who typically plays more on special teams than offense, played 32 snaps and caught 3 passes for 46 yards. He also laid a couple nice blocks to spring Jonathan Taylor in the rushing attack.

Mike Strachan was fifth among the team’s receivers with 11 snaps in Week 1. Despite limited playing time, he posted 2 catches for 36 yards.

Campbell joined those 2 receivers with multiple catches and at least 36 yards (3 receptions for 37 yards).

The Colts are hoping one of these wideouts emerge as a true No. 2 passing option for Ryan. But until then, it will be receiver by committee. That will likely be the case if Pierce can’t play in Week 2.

Indianapolis will visit Jacksonville on September 18. The Colts haven’t beaten the Jaguars on the road since 2015.

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