Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been a limited participant in practice this week as he attempts to limp his way back into the lineup for Sunday's game against the visiting Miami Dolphins. Brian Hoyer is waiting in the wings should Brissett be unable to play after sustaining a sprained MCL in his left knee during last Sunday's 26-24 loss to Pittsburgh.
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"Jacoby's old school, now. So this guy is as tough as they come," Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. "But we gotta do the right thing for him and for our team, and we'll just see how it plays out. He's our quarterback, we want him to play, and if he's ready to play, then he'll be the starter." Hoyer fared well in relief with three touchdown passes against one interception last Sunday for the Colts, who can move into a tie with idle Houston for first place in the AFC South with their seventh victory in the last eight meetings with the Dolphins. Miami tasted victory for the first time this season with a 26-18 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, but rookie head coach Brian Flores' club is now tasked with attempting to prevent a franchise high-tying 11th straight road loss (2006-08). "I just feel like we're trending right now, and we have been the last few weeks, so it's nice to put a win in the win column," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said after he threw for a season-high 288 yards and three touchdowns versus the Jets.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Colts -10.5. O/U: 44
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (1-7): Kalen Ballage, who has rushed for a touchdown in two of his last four contests, is expected to see an expanded role in Miami's 30th-ranked offense after Kenyan Drake was traded to Arizona and fellow running back Mark Walton was suspended four games for violating the NFL conduct and substance abuse policy. "I've played all right," the 23-year-old Ballage said, although his 2.0-yard average suggests otherwise. "Opportunities have been slim. Moving forward, it's about getting in there and getting a rhythm and being able to touch the ball more." The Dolphins also will have to adjust to the loss of promising rookie wideout Preston Williams, who sustained a season-ending ACL injury against New York. Fellow wideout DeVante Parker has reeled in a touchdown reception in four of his past five games while tight end Mike Gesicki emerged for career-high totals in catches (six) and receiving yards (95) last week.
ABOUT THE COLTS (5-3): Although there is a question about the identity of the starting quarterback, running back Marlon Mack likely will see plenty of work as he faces Miami's second-worst run defense in the NFL. Mack has totaled at least 85 yards from scrimmage in three of his last four games and has rushed for a touchdown in three of his last five home contests. Zach Pascal stepped up with Miami native T.Y. Hilton sidelined with a calf injury, reeling in five catches for a team-best 76 yards against the Steelers while building a rapport with both Brissett and Hoyer. Reich has yet to rule out Hilton, telling reporters that "I don't ever want to count him out until we absolutely have to."
1. Veteran K Adam Vinatieri needs three field-goal attempts to break Morten Andersen's league record (709), eight points to become the first Indianapolis player to score 1,500 and one extra point to become the first player in franchise history with 500.
2. Flores knows both Brissett and Hoyer very well dating back to their respective days in New England.
3. Former Colts DE Dwight Freeney will become the 16th member of the team's Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony on Sunday.