The Indianapolis Colts are embarking on a new era as head coach Frank Reich was fired on Monday afternoon. In his place, the Colts hired Jeff Saturday, who was most recently an analyst with ESPN and has never coached above the high school level.
It is certainly a bold and unprecedented hiring by Indianapolis, one that has drawn the ire of plenty of people. Saturday played with the Colts for 13 out of his 14 seasons in the NFL and is endearing himself to his players with the energy that he has brought to the club, but there are legitimate concerns about if he can help the team win games.
Indianapolis is currently 3-5-1 on the season heading into a matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. This is essentially a must-win game for each team as the Raiders are 2-6 on the season. Another loss for either team could put the nail in the coffin for what has been disappointing seasons for each franchise.
Despite the struggles that Las Vegas has had, Indianapolis will have its hands full. They received some rough injury news as star linebacker Shaquille Leonard will not be dressing for the game.
The All-Pro has been in and out of the lineup all season as he has played in only three games this season. Last week against the New England Patriots was the most that he played in a game thus far this season as he was on the field for 34 snaps.
Without him in the lineup, the Colts will be turning to Zaire Franklin and Bobby Okereke to man the second level of their defense. Both players have performed well as Franklin leads the team with 87 tackles and Okereke is second with 77.
While Leonard will not be suiting up, the Colts will have veteran quarterback Matt Ryan back in uniform this weekend. However, it will be Sam Ehlinger getting another start as the Colts are still seeking out a spark for their offense.