Coming out of Week 11, the Indianapolis Colts are tied with the Houston Texans atop the AFC South standings. The two teams are set to meet this Thursday in a critical match-up to kick off the Week 12 schedule. Unfortunately for the Colts, they will have to play that game without running back Marlon Mack, who suffered a broken hand in Sunday’s 33-13 win over the Jaguars.
Mack says he isn’t sure how he suffered the injury but felt enough pain in his hand for him to come out of the game early in the third quarter. He will visit a hand specialist this week to help determine the severity of the injury and how much time he’ll miss. At the very least, he will sit out Thursday’s pivotal showdown against the Texans.
Losing Mack for any period of time will be a huge loss for the Colts. He had been in the midst of a career year, already amassing 862 rushing yards and four touchdowns over the first 10 games of the season. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, Mack could have had a chance to top last year’s mark of 908 rushing yards.
With an average of 4.5 yards per carry, Mack has been the most consistent performer on the Indianapolis offense this season. He’s been invaluable in helping the Colts establish a steady rushing attack, which is something they’ve needed with top receiver T.Y. Hilton missing multiple games due to injury. In fact, Mack was in the midst of his best game of the season when he got hurt. In 14 carries before leaving the game, Mack had racked up 109 yards.
Without Mack for the foreseeable future, the Colts will turn to Jonathan Williams and Hyheim Hines. Williams ran for 116 yards on 13 carries on Sunday with Mack out of the game. However, he had just two carries this season before Sunday. Hines, meanwhile, has played a little more, albeit in a supporting role. On the season, he has 25 rushing attempts but 30 receptions for a total of 319 yards. However, while both backs clearly bring something to the table, it’ll be difficult for the Colts to replace Mack’s productivity, especially with the most important games of the season ahead of them.