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Injured Colts face uphill climb against Dolphins

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Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is set to meet his former team on Sunday when the Miami Dolphins welcome the Indianapolis Colts.

The Dolphins (1-2) remain 2 1/2-point favorites against the winless Colts (0-3) on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Each team has quarterback issues.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz is playing hurt, having injured both his ankles in Indianapolis’ second game this season. Wentz ranks 23rd in the NFL with 230.7 passing yards per game, and his 60.4 completion percentage ranks 29th in the league.

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Wentz, who was seen limping following Indianapolis’ 25-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans last week, plans to play on Sunday.

“I’m very confident we can progress this (injury),” Wentz said, “and I can be myself.”

Wentz has impressed his teammates with his toughness, but the Colts have had to shrink their playbook temporarily until their QB can regain his mobility. Wentz also has a tendency to hold the ball too long (fifth-longest rate in the NFL).

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are again without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, due to fractured ribs.

Brissett started his first game with the Dolphins in Week 3 as Miami lost 31-28 in overtime to the Las Vegas Raiders.

After a slow start, Brissett heated up in that game, completing 32-of-49 passes for 215 yards.

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Brissett should have some opportunities this Sunday against the Colts, who allow 12.71 yards per completion, which is the NFL’s second-worst rate.

The Colts are also the league’s seventh-worst team in terms of pressuring the opposing passer.

Brissett, who prior to last Sunday had not started a game since he was a member of the Colts in 2019, seems to be feeling extra confident coming off the Vegas game.

“There are no moral victories in this league, but I think we have a lot to build on,” Brissett said.

Miami’s biggest defensive playmaker is two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard, who has twice led the NFL in interceptions. In fact, in his past 36 games, he has 19 picks, including one this year.

Offensively, the Dolphins have a solid core of targets for Brissett in wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVante Parker, and tight end Mike Gesicki.

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Waddle, a rookie first-round pick, leads the team in receptions (22) and receiving yards (167). But despite his game-breaking speed, he is averaging just 7.6 yards per catch.

Indianapolis’ two biggest playmakers are running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

Taylor ran for 1,169 yards, 11 touchdowns and a 5.0 average last year as a rookie. He’s a 5-foot-10, 225-pound bruiser.

Pittman is another physical second-year player at 6-4 and 225 pounds. He has 57 catches for 723 yards but just one TD in 16 NFL games.

The Colts also have tight end Jack Doyle, who made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2019, but he has been slowed by a back injury this week and has been held to nine catches this year.

Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, a four-time Pro Bowl player and a Miami native, has yet to play this year due to a neck injury.

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“I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen in his rehab,” Colts quarterback Frank Reich said of Hilton. “But he’s not quite there yet.”

Offensive guard Quenton Nelson, first-team All-Pro in each of his first three NFL seasons (2018-2020), was placed on injured reserve Saturday and will miss at least the next three games. He is nursing an ankle injury.

Defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring), safety Khari Willis (groin), Braden Smith (foot, thumb) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle) also have been ruled out Sunday’s game.

As for the Dolphins, starting center Michael Deiter has been ruled out due to foot and quadriceps injuries.

Center/guard Greg Mancz is expected to replace Deiter on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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