The Indianapolis Colts made the decision to shut down quarterback Andrew Luck for the remainder of the season last week, and decided to cut ties with another long-standing member of the organization this week. The drama-filled Colts will try to move on and focus on the field when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Indianapolis shut down Luck (shoulder) officially before last week’s 20-14 win at Houston and finally got tired of waiting for cornerback Vontae Davis to move past a groin injury, releasing the impending free agent on Thursday. Davis saw his production decline this season and got an outside opinion recommending surgery on the groin this week, prompting the Colts to cut ties. The Steelers, who are looking for more big plays on both sides of the ball, are winners of three straight coming off a bye week and move onto the second half of their schedule with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. “Yes, we’ve made some,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin told reporters of big plays. “Yes, we’re in a good spot. But we want to be in a better spot. And so, we’ve got to make more of those.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -10. O/U: 45.
ABOUT THE STEELERS (6-2): The Pittsburgh offense has yet to produce a 30-point game this season, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hoping to oversee an increase in production in the second half. “We’d like to do what we can to put as many points on the board, because that takes pressure off our defense,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “We love the way they are playing, it’s a lot of fun to watch, but we need to do our part.” Roethlisberger is on pace to pass for 4,124 yards and 20 touchdowns while wide receiver Antonio Bryant leads the NFL with 835 receiving yards.
ABOUT THE COLTS (3-6): Davis was part of an Indianapolis passing defense that has allowed an NFL-high 2,517 yards through the air, and he was not on the active roster for last week’s trip to Houston. “Every decision that we make, that I make, is based on two things -- that’s what’s best for the football team and what gives us the best chance to win,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano told reporters. “This isn’t about one guy. Nobody is bigger than the team and it starts with me. I‘m not. Nobody is. Only thing that matters is the football team and winning. We love Vontae. I love Vontae. I‘m grateful for the contributions that he’s made over the last six years. We’ve been together for a long time. He’s done a lot of great things for us. We’re putting this to bed.” The Colts limited Houston backup quarterback Tom Savage to 219 yards with Davis off the field last week.
1. Colts DL Henry Anderson (laryngeal fracture) will miss the rest of the season.
2. Steelers LB James Harrison (back) sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday and is questionable.
3. Pittsburgh beat Indianapolis in each of the last three seasons, winning by an average of 24.3 points.
PREDICTION: Steelers 38, Colts 14