Due to the absence of T.Y. Hilton for the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, the New England Patriots will have to watch out for Zach Pascal.
Coming into Thursday Night Football, both the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts are far from 100 percent. Of the notable injuries for the Patriots, it appears that Rob Gronkowski will be playing on Thursday despite his ankle injury.
However, the Colts aren’t as lucky, as their star wide receiver, T.Y. Hilton will be out for this game. Hilton is still the No.1 option for the Colts on offense, and his absence will be big for Andrew Luck and the Colts.
If the Colts had an effective running game, they would likely try to hurt the Patriots on the ground in this game and keep Brady and the offense off the field. However, the Colts haven’t shown an ability to run the ball consistently this season, and they will likely have to try and match the Patriots in a shootout.
While Andrew Luck is certainly capable of competing with a team in a passing shootout, not having his top weapon will certainly hurt. In a thrilling game last week, we did see some players on the Colts step up at wide receiver. One of those players was Zach Pascal.
Last week against the Texans, Pascal had his breakout performance, as he totaled six receptions, 56 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. A lot of his damage came after Hilton left the game last week, as we can expect him to be one of the main beneficiaries from his absence against the Patriots.
Without Hilton and Jack Doyle, the Colts are certainly thin at their skill positions. However, the injuries do create opportunities for younger players that are hungry to prove themselves. After a solid week against the Texans in Week 4, Pascal should one of the players that the Patriots are keeping their eye on.