Colts Injury Update: Michael Pittman Jr and Zack Moss ruled out of NFL game week 16 against Falcons

The Week 15 showdown of the Indianapolis Colts let their fans find solace following their blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the previous week. Nevertheless, the winning environment took a hit when their standout players, Michael Pittman Jr and Zack Moss faced gruesome injuries.

While the fans are waiting to see their star players in a healthy form in their Week 16 game, the team came out with shocking news regarding their availability in the upcoming contest. 

Michael Pittman Jr injury update

In spite of clearing the NFL’s concussion protocol on Friday, additional concussion symptoms for Michael Pittman Jr emerged upon the team’s arrival in Atlanta, ruling him out of Sunday’s game against the Falcons.

Pittman, the Colts’ top receiver with an impressive 99 receptions this season, endured a brutal hit in last Saturday’s game against the Steelers. The hit, targeting his head and neck area, left him slow to rise, and he exited the game after a concussion diagnosis. Despite rapid progress through the protocol during the week, uncertainty lingered as he dealt with a shoulder injury, limiting his participation in Friday’s practice.

The initial optimism after Pittman’s clearance by an independent neurologist faded when new symptoms surfaced post-flight in Atlanta. Placed back into the concussion protocol, he was swiftly ruled out for the upcoming clash with the Falcons. The double blow of brain and shoulder injuries sustained against the Steelers amplified the challenges for the Colts.

Pittman’s journey with the Colts has seen significant growth, with the 2020 second-round draft pick delivering a stellar season, amassing 99 receptions, 1,062 yards, and four touchdowns. However, his absence from the upcoming game casts a shadow over the Colts’ offensive lineup.

The Steelers’ safety, Damontae Kazee, responsible for the hit on Pittman, faced ejection from the game and a subsequent suspension without pay for the rest of the regular season. The suspension incurs a financial penalty of about $208,000 for Kazee.

Despite labeling the hit as “scary” and “illegal,” Pittman extended support to Kazee, asserting that he believed it wasn’t an intentional act to cause harm. Prior to him, Tom Brady also conveyed his dissatisfaction over the league’s decision on Kazee.

Zack Moss’s injury update

With Michael Pittman Jr, Zack Moss was also ruled out due to a forearm injury. Initially listed as questionable, Moss sustained the injury during a scoring play in the Colts’ recent triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Last week, Moss showcased his prowess by finding the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown reception, contributing to the Colts’ 30-13 victory. Unfortunately, the same play that marked his success left him with a forearm injury, sidelining him for the remainder of the game, per ESPN.

Notably, Moss had previously suffered a broken arm during the preseason. While MRI and X-ray results brought relief, showing no severe damage, Moss’s absence from practice throughout the week casts uncertainty on his availability for Sunday’s game.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a career-best season with impressive statistics, with 177 carries, 764 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns in 13 games. Additionally, he has contributed 27 receptions for 192 yards and two scores.

As the Colts (8-6) face the complexities of the AFC playoff race, the return of running back Jonathan Taylor provides a glimmer of hope. The 2021 NFL rushing leader missed the past three games due to thumb surgery but is expected to bolster the Colts’ ground game against the Falcons. Despite suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb during the Nov. 26 win over the Buccaneers, Taylor managed to rush for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

As Sunday’s game knocks at the door, the spotlight will shift to how the Colts’ coaching staff manages the absence of Moss and Michael Pittman Jr to maximize the strengths of their available backup options. 

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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