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Colts Lose Another Player, Texans to Continue Splitting Running Back Reps

The Indianapolis Colts (1-0) announced on Saturday that tight end Dwayne Allen, after previously being listed as questionable, now has a downgrade to doubtful. This week, Allen did not participate in practice thanks to an injured hip and will not play in Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins (1-0).

Dwayne Allen

Dwayne Allen

With Allen out, look for tight end Coby Fleener to see more action this week. Dominique Jones has been listed as the team’s second tight end.

For Allen, it’s already been a tough sophomore season. He was absent from the preseason with a sprained foot and now he is battling the hip problem that he incurred in last week’s game against the Oakland Raiders (0-1). Prior to exiting it, he had scored a 20-yard touchdown.

In his first year, Allen had 45 catches for 521 yards with three touchdowns.

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said of Allen via ESPN.com, “The injury that he suffered to the hip is coming around, but it hasn’t come around as quickly as we thought it would. It didn’t make any sense to push the envelope and put him out there to practice.”

Allen will join the team’s running back Vick Ballard on the sidelines on Sunday. The team lost him this week to a torn right ACL and he is now out for the season. On Friday, he was the topic of conversation by the Colts owner, Jim Irsay.

Irsay tweeted, “We’re all hurting for Vick BaL..Bradshaw,Brown and others must step up…Grig’s gonna work hard to wheel n deal B4 trade deadline,let’s roll.”

Translation: Running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown need to step up and Colts GM Ryan Grigson could be looking for a running back trade. As for potential players to trade for, ProFootballTalk opined about the following as interesting possibilities: Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew, Houston Texans Ben Tate, Buffalo Bills Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Minnesota Vikings Toby Gerhart, the Atlanta Falcons Jacquizz Rodgers or the St. Louis Rams Isaiah Pead.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, with a depleted offense, the Colts will get another win (-2.5, 43 o/u).

Titans vs. Texans

The Houston Texans snapped their losing streak against the San Diego Chargers last week with a 31-28 comeback victory while the Tennessee Titans showed off their improved defense and defeated the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-9.

For the Titans/Texans match up, Houston will enter the game with confidence after fighting back from a 21-point deficit. This came on solid play by the team’s two running backs: Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Look for both to again share reps on Sunday–something that Tate is not thrilled about.

In Week 1, Foster had 18 carries for 57 yards while Tate had nine runs for 55 yards. From these numbers, you could say Tate outplayed Foster. He was vocal last week that he doesn’t want to be the No. 2 running back to Foster.

Ben Tate

Ben Tate

Tate said via NFL.com, “I would be lying to you if I told you that I embraced the complement role to someone else. That’s not why I wanted to be in the NFL. That’s not my dream to complement someone else. That’s not what my attitude or why I work out is to complement someone else.”

Texans coach Gary Kubiak has said he understands both his running backs want playing time but for now, look for the two to split reps until Foster can resume as the top dog.

In this week’s game, Vegas gives Foster more total rushing yards (80, 115 o/u).

For the Titans, they’ll face a tougher defense this week and in Week 1, their offense was conservative as they relied on its running game. Coach Mike Munchak said a passing game could be part of the plan for this week.

In their two 2012 games, the Texans won both against the Titans, forcing nine turnovers without incurring any of their own. Things happen in threes and Houston will get another win (-8, 43 o/u).



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