Indianapolis lost running back Nyheim Hines on the first drive of the game and then defensive end Kwity Paye had to be carted off the field in the second half because of an ankle injury.
On October 7, CBS and Fox Sports’ Mike Chappell tweeted that the Colts “don’t believe” they will lose Paye for the rest of the season. But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Colts “believe” Paye has a high-ankle sprain.
It typically takes several weeks to recover from a high-ankle sprain. Paye will undergo more exams on October 7 to determine the exact injury and timetable for his return.
Colts Lose Paye to Ankle Injury
The defensive end suffered his injury while pressuring Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson early in the fourth quarter. Paye forced a bad throw from Wilson that safety Rodney Thomas II intercepted, but after the play, Paye appeared not to be able to put pressure on his right leg.
He needed a cart to leave the field.
Paye did not have a tackle and recorded only 1 quarterback hit before exiting on October 6. But it will not be easy for the Colts to replace his production, assuming he misses any amount of time.
A first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Paye posted 16 combined tackles, including 12 solos, 3.0 sacks, 5 tackles for loss and 5 quarterback hits in the first 5 games of the season. Despite not adding to his totals on October 6, Paye leads the Colts in sacks, tackles for loss and quarterback hits.
Rapoport reported that if the Colts are correct and Paye has suffered a high-ankle sprain, he could missed about 4-6 games.
If Paye misses at least 4 weeks, Indianapolis will likely turn to Tyquan Lewis, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ben Banogu for a pass rush.
Lewis entered the concussion protocol in Week 4 and didn’t play against the Broncos. Lewis, Odenigbo and Banogu have combined for zero sacks and 2 quarterback hits this season.
The Colts will need more production from Yannick Ngakoue, who has lined up opposite Paye along the Indianapolis defensive line this season. Ngakoue has 2.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and 5 quarterback hits this season. He posted 1.5 sacks versus the Broncos.
Hines Leaves With Concussion
Without All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor in Week 5 because of an ankle injury, backup Nyheim Hines was expected to play a significant role in the Colts offense. But he couldn’t stand up straight, seemingly suffering a concussion, on the third play from scrimmage.
Hines did not return to the game.
As of the morning of October 7, there have been no updates on Hines’ status other than Colts head coach Frank Reich telling the media during his postgame press conference that the running back “obviously” suffered a concussion.
The Colts now have 2 running backs with uncertain statuses for Week 6, but the good news is Indianapolis has depth at the position.
In Hines’ absence, the Colts rushed for 106 yards, which was their most in a game since Week 1. Deon Jackson rushed for 62 yards, which is more yards than he had in his career before Week 5. Just off the practice squad, Phillip Lindsay chipped in 40 rushing yards versus the Broncos.
Hopefully, the Colts get back Taylor and Hines sooner rather than later, but Jackson and Lindsay appear ready if needed.