As the Indianapolis Colts enter a must-win Week 18 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a place they haven’t won since 2014, they could be without one of their best players.
All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is questionable with a knee injury. He did not practice all week while resting an issue that has flared up on and off this season.
If he’s out, it will mark two starters down on that side of the ball since last week. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is out with the hamstring injury he suffered late in Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
They are the only two players on the Colts’ status report this week. Left tackle Eric Fisher returned to practice in full all three days after missing last Sunday with a collection of injuries.
The Jaguars are ruling out backup tight end James O’Shaughnessy. Star linebacker Myles Jack had missed two practices with a knee injury but practiced in full Friday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looks for a receiver as Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner looks for a sack,
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Buckner has had to rest knee and back issues at various points this season, but it has yet to cost him a game and it has not held him back from reaching his second Pro Bowl. He has faced a number of double teams as the Colts search for other pass-rush help, and his seven sacks are his lowest since 2017.
Buckner has missed only one game to injury in his six-year career, and it came in his rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers. He missed one game last season due to COVID-19, and Derrick Henry ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the Tennessee Titans’ 45-26 win over the Colts.
If he can’t go, Taylor Stallworth will likely start in his place with second-round rookie Dayo Odeyingbo sharing snaps. Those two combine for 3.5 sacks this season.
Isaiah Rodgers will start in place of Rhodes this week….