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Colts Move Forward without Wayne, Texans Seek to Snap Losing Streak

As the Indianapolis Colts (6-2) play the second half of the season without wide receiver Reggie Wayne, they’ll look to other weapons to step up; one of them will be running back Trent Richardson. After questions had been lingering earlier in the week on whether or not he’d be playing in Sunday’s game versus the St. Louis Rams (3-6), they appear answered: Richardson will play on Sunday.

Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson

He sat out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday thanks to a swollen ankle but he returned to the practice field on Friday. He has a questionable listing on the team’s injury report but he is expected to play

Richarson said via ESPN, “Oh yeah, I’m always game-ready. Took precaution on it and coach (Chuck Pagano) is going to make the best decision. You see me out there running around and you see me moving like I used to move. You know I’m ready.”

In Wayne’s absence, the Colts will try to insert Richardson into the passing game. On the ground, he has only been averaging 3.0 yards per carry over his six games as a Colt. Last week against the Houston Texans (2-6), he did have a 24-yard reception.

Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said he’ll look for creative ways to play Richardson and that the team has expectations his play will continue improving.

As for the Colts defense this week, look for them to try and stop running back Zac Stacy. Over the last two weeks, the rookie has run for 261 yards–the most in the league–and this week could be another good one as the Colts defense has given up 124.9 yards a game in 2013.

Quarterback Andrew Luck hasn’t received the greatest protection from his offensive line this season and against the Rams, they’ll need to be on their pass protection toes against the Rams defensive ends, Robert Quinn and Chris Long.

The Colts are a talented team and have their eyes on the postseason and sit at -1000 to win the AFC South. Sunday’s win will keep them on the path (-10.5, 44 o/u).

For the Texans with their six straight losses, they’re looking for a win on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals (4-4).

There’s a few storylines with this team and one is the absence of running back Arian Foster. He injured his back last week in the Colts game and he will not play on Sunday. When he returns remains to be seen and a possible season-ending surgery story is circulating for the player, reported the Houston Chronicle.

Look for running back Ben Tate to step up and play amid his own injury (ribs).

Case Keenum

Case Keenum and Gary Kubiak

The Texans will be playing without head coach Gary Kubiak, who is expected to return this week. Under center again will be the third string quarterback, Case Keenum. He’s building a good connection with wide receiver Andre Johnson and in his last two games, he has the highest league pass completion percentage on passes of 20-plus yards (on a minimum of 10 attempts) at 63.6 percent.

He has thrown for 621 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in his two starts. Will third time be the charm for a win? Nope, the losing streak will continue as the Cardinals get the win (-3, 42 o/u).

Then there’s the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8), who remain winless. Their eyes are looking ahead to the 2014 season but there are a few games that could snap their losing streak including two Houston games, the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills.

This week they’ll play the Tennessee Titans (4-4), who are favored for the win (-12.5, 41.5 o/u). Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has said he’d to see running back Maurice Jones-Drew get 20 carries and the No. 2 back, Denard Robinson, get 14 in the game. This a lofty goal and quarterback Chad Henne’s passing versus the Titans’ secondary could also be challenging.







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