With Andrew Luck still sidelined while rehabbing a shoulder injury, the seat is getting hotter for Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano. The Colts, who were embarrassed at Los Angeles Rams last week, host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a battle of two teams looking for their first wins minus their best players.
Luck denied media rumors that he is looking to leave Indianapolis but he seems to be no closer to returning to the field after undergoing a shoulder operation in the offseason. Scott Tolzien made the opening day start for the Colts and threw two interceptions in a discouraging 46-9, season-opening loss against the Los Angeles Rams. Things went just as badly for the Cardinals in their opener. Not only was Carson Palmer picked off three times in their 35-23 loss at Detroit, but they lost star running back David Johnson for at least eight weeks and possibly the rest of the season with a dislocated wrist.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cardinals -7. O/U: 44.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (0-1): Arizona brought back running back Chris Johnson earlier in the week to help fill the void created by David Johnson’s injury, but Kerwynn Williams (5 carries, 10 yards, TD vs. the Lions) will start at running back on Sunday. David Johnson’s loss cannot be understated as he led the league with 2,118 yards from scrimmage last season and scored 20 touchdowns. The Cardinals may also be minus speedy wide receiver John Brown, who missed practice during the week with a quad injury and is listed as questionable.
ABOUT THE COLTS (0-1): Tolzien threw two pick-sixes last week and his stint under center may be short-lived. Jacoby Brissett, who drove the team to its lone score against the Rams, split time with Tolzien at practice during the week and Pagano may turn to their recent acquisition from the New England Patriots sooner rather than later. Luck hasn’t indicated a timetable for his return but doesn’t seem likely to be back on the field until October for the Colts, who were also missing center Ryan Kelly (out, foot) and star cornerback Vontae Davis (out, groin) last week.
1. Arizona won the last meeting in the series 40-11 in 2011 breaking a four-game winning streak by Indianapolis.
2. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton had just three catches for 57 yards in the opener and looks to draw CB Patrick Peterson, who has picked off 20 passes since 2011, in coverage.
3. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians went 9-3 as the interim head coach with the Colts while Pagano was battling cancer in 2012.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 27, Colts 17