Colts injuries: CB Xavier Rhodes, DE Kemoko Turay OUT vs. Seahawks
The Indianapolis Colts will face the lethal receiving duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett without their top outside cornerback.
Xavier Rhodes has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The same goes for left tackle Eric Fisher (Achilles) and defensive end Kemoko Turay (groin), while All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson (back, foot) is officially "questionable" to play.
Rhodes is dealing with a calf injury that has kept him out of practice all week. Initially, when Rhodes suffered the injury, Colts coach Frank Reich said, he didn’t expect it to keep Rhodes out for very long.
Now, he’s not so sure how long Rhodes might be out.
“It wasn’t as simple as I originally thought it was going to be,” Reich said. “I thought, ‘Oh, he’ll probably be fine.’ Then it ended up being a little worse than that. … So we’ll get to next week and re-evaluate.”
More Colts coverage:
- LT Eric Fisher out vs. Seahawks; Julién Davenport has earned Colts trust in his stead
- Insider: We'll find out how far CB Rock Ya-Sin has come vs. Seattle's receivers
- Doyel: Buckle up, Carson Wentz will throw some INT in pursuit of greatness
Second-year Colt T.J. Carrie is expected start in Rhodes stead, opposite of third-year cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
The loss of Rhodes is a huge blow to the Colts who are now thin at cornerback.
The ex-Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowler enjoyed an outstanding debut season with the Colts last year. He played all 17 games (including the postseason), and while he only picked off a pair of passes, Rhodes allowed a completion percentage of just .519, according to Pro Football Reference, the ninth-best mark among cornerbacks who saw at least 50 passes thrown their way. That mark ranked higher than all but two of the cornerbacks (Jalen Ramsey, Xavien Howard) elected to the 2020 Pro Bowl.
Rhodes also boasted a passer rating against of 84.5 which compared well to some of the league’s top corners, including Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White (79.9) and New England’s Stephon Gilmore (75.7).
Rhodes collected 12 passes defended last year, tying him for the team lead with Kenny Moore.
By comparison, Ya-Sin did not boast high marks. He allowed 67.2% of passes throw his way to be completed with a passer rating against of 98.7. Carrie, however, was much more effective than his salary would have suggested. Though he wasn’t targeted as much as Rhodes or Ya-Sin, he only allowed 57.5% of passes thrown his way to be completed with a 78.0 passer rating against.
If Carrie, 31, can continue to play like he did last season, he will limit the damage done by not having Rhodes on the field.
"It's a big challenge for our corners," Reich said. "DK Metcalf, the size and the speed and Tyler Lockett has just been an incredible receiver for a long time. It's a team effort. For us, it starts up front. Get pressure on Russell Wilson."
Beyond Carrie and Ya-Sin, with Kenny Moore primarily in the slot, second-year cornerback Isaiah Rodgers could also see some additional time on defense. Recent waiver claims BoPete Keyes and Chris Wilcox could also be in the mix.
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Turay, meanwhile, isn’t considered a starter on the defensive end. However, he was expected to be a major contributor on passing downs for the Colts. With Turay out, look for Ben Banogu to take extra snaps in the pass-rush rotation. Banogu has enjoyed an excellent training camp and preseason and has been hoping for increased opportunity this season after playing so minimally last year.
Turay’s injury might just have created that opportunity.
At guard, Nelson is questionable but indications are that he'll play. Reich said Nelson's back is bothering him more than his surgically repaired foot, but clearly neither is too debilitating. Nelson was a full participant in Friday's practice after being limited Thursday, which means he's trending in the right direction.
"He was full today, but we'll just continue to monitor him, and hopefully he's ready," Reich said. "Quenton's the kind of guy, who if there's any way he can go, he'll go. So we'll just see how he feels (Saturday)."
Nelson has never missed a game for the Colts in three years.
Follow IndyStar Colts Insider Jim Ayello on Twitter: @jimayello.