Forced to deal with a number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball themselves this season, the Cleveland Browns could benefit from facing a banged-up Indianapolis defense in Sunday's game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
While 13 Cleveland players were still listed on the team's first injury report of the week according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, a number of key Colts defenders were completely held out of practice on Wednesday. Along with cornerback Darius Butler and defensive linemen Cory Redding, Fili Moala and Martin Tevaseu, key pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis also were not in action at Indianapolis's practice.
Linebacker Pat Angerer was also limited for the Colts on Wednesday, while star cornerback Vontae Davis suited up for a full practice but continues to nurse an ankle injury. Although the Browns did not have the services of linebacker Scott Fujita and cornerback Dimitri Patterson to open the week, the majority of Cleveland's limited players on Wednesday are still fully expected to play this weekend against the Colts.
Coming off a week where Indianapolis gave up 252 total rushing yards to the Jets, the Browns should have every opportunity for a big day offensively against a Colts defense operating at less than 100% health. Regardless of whether a number of impact defenders suit up for the Colts or not, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur will need to hope his players can take advantage come Sunday.