NFL

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans Sunday Night Football Pick

Sunday, December 30 at 8:20 PM ET

Nissan Stadium

30°F

Partly cloudy

Winds from the NW 4 mph

Gusts: 6 mph

Coverage: NBC

A playoff berth and possibly the AFC South title will be on the line when the Colts visit the Titans on Sunday Night Football. Indianapolis and Tennessee are both 9-6, one game behind Houston in their division, so there's obviously a lot at stake in this contest, but both the Colts and Titans are dealing with injuries to key players.

Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron and center Ryan Kelly joined middle linebacker Anthony Walker and safety Clayton Geathers in the Colts' list of injured players and star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton remains less than 100 percent healthy with an ankle injury and although he's practiced just twice in the past three weeks, he's playing through the pain brilliantly.

As for the Titans, two of their most important players, three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and star quarterback Marcus Mariota were knocked out of Saturday's 25-16 win against the Redskins. Casey was placed on injured reserve due to a strained medial collateral ligament and Mariota's status is questionable as he tries to deal with a stinger.

 

Walker and Geathers questionable for Sunday
Anthony Walker, the second-leading tackler for the Colts and the one who makes calls and checks for the defense, was held out against the Giants with a shoulder injury and Clayton Geathers, third on the team in tackles, is dealing with a knee injury.

Without them the defense had some communication issues in the 28-27 win against the Giants, allowing 392 total yards, the most they've given up in six weeks. Walker and Geathers could return against the Titans but their status will not be known until later in the week.

As for Eric Ebron and Ryan Kelly, Ebron is in the NFL's concussion protocol and Kelly, who just returned after missing three weeks with a sprained MCL, has a neck injury.

 

Casey and Mariota could be out
Not having Jurrell Casey is a heavy blow for the Titans, he leads the team with seven sacks and their defense has already without edge rusher Brian Orakpo. Marcus Mariota on the other hand has battled an elbow injury all season but the stinger is a completely different problem.

The Colts saw both Mariota and backup Blaine Gabbert in a 38-10 win on November 18. Mariota completed 10 of 13 passes for 85 yards and one interception and he took four sacks before leaving the game at the end of the first half while Gabbert completed 11 of 16 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

 

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The Colts dominated the first meeting in Indianapolis and Andrew Luck can open things up in the passing game again but I can't bet this contest until I know more about who will play or not, there's just too many question marks for both teams.

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA

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