Marlon Mack underwent a procedure on Monday to repair his fractured hand and will be out on Thursday night against the Texans. There hasn’t been any word of a timetable for Mack’s return, which portends a more prolonged absence than just one game.
According to beat writer Mike Chappell, Colts coach Frank Reich believes Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams will share work along with Nyheim Hines, who is the receiving specialist of the three. Wilkins was out last week with an ankle injury, which pushed Williams into a prominent role after Mack went down. Williams ended up rushing 13 times for 116 yards and bringing in one pass for 31 more yards.
Wilkins believes he was close to returning last week according to beat reporter Joel Erickson and looks like he’ll be called on this week. We need to make sure he gets practices in before going in on him for fantasy, but he was Mack’s direct backup before his injury and played well in that role. On 27 carries this season, he has averaged six yards per attempt for 236 yards.
Then, add in Hines and his 30 receptions for 242 yards, and we could have a full-blown three-headed committee on our hands. The Texans run defense is good, having allowed just 62 yards on 26 carries to Mack and Wilkins in their Week 7 matchup and only three rushing touchdowns all season.
All of this adds up to scattered touch numbers against a strong opponent. As long as Wilkins returns, we can’t expect big numbers from any individual Colts back on Thursday night. But if Wilkins can’t go, Williams gets a better shot at fantasy value.