The AFC South was expected to be a two-team race entering the 2016 NFL season. With the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans expected to be the two teams competing for the division title, we have seen the season take a different course so far. Both the Colts and Texans have experienced some very significant injuries. However, both teams are still at the top of the division. At 2-1, the Texans are at the top of the division. The Colts are 1-2 and are tied with the Tennessee Titans for second place in the division. Let’s take a look at how injuries are starting to determine the winner of the AFC South.
Injuries Are Starting to Determine the Winner of the AFC South
Houston Texans Injury Problems
The Texans started the 2016 season 2-0, before getting shut out by the New England Patriots last week. However, the Texans might have just had their biggest loss of the season with news that started forming earlier this week and broke today. According to the Houston Texans, defensive lineman J.J. Watt is out for the season with back issues. They do not expect this injury to give Watt any issues after this season. In addition to the Texans losing the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, starting linebacker Brian Cushing is still dealing with injury issues. He had limited participation in practice this week and is still questionable with a knee injury. Furthermore, the Texans third-round pick, wide receiver Braxton Miller, is out again with a hamstring injury.
Next up for the Texans is division foe Tennessee Titans. If the Texans slip up against the Titans on Sunday, they could end up losing their outright division lead.
Indianapolis Colts Injury Problems
While the Texans might have had the more significant injury to a single player, the Colts have had a much larger number of significant injuries. The Colts have been ravaged by injury since the preseason. According to the Indianapolis Colts, cornerback Darius Butler is out again this week with a hamstring injury. Furthermore, the Colts best corner, Vontae Davis, just played his first game last week. Wide receiver Donte Moncrief will also be out for at least the next four weeks with a shoulder injury. Also, Henry Anderson and Patrick Robinson have dealt with injuries.
Even quarterback Andrew Luck is listed on the Colts injury report this week, but he will start on Sunday. The Colts put linebacker Trent Cole on injured reserve this week as well. Considering the Colts defense wasn’t expected to be especially good at full health, dealing with so many injuries have given them a world of trouble. If they end up losing any more significant players on defense to injury, the Colts division title hopes could really be in trouble.
The Colts got back on track for their first win of the season last week against the San Diego Chargers. Next up for the Colts is division foe Jacksonville Jaguars. This gives the Colts a chance to get back to a .500 winning percentage, considering the Jaguars are 0-3 on the season.