It means that the Colts don’t have to face the Texans at their best, and that could mean good things for an Indianapolis team wondering where this season is heading.
Kerry Collins will have to step in to run the offense and wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark will get a chance to showcase themselves apart from Manning, whose lengthy shadow has pushed the rest of the Colts to also-ran status.
The good news for the defense is that without having to shut down the league’s top rusher in Foster, there is a chance to focus on playing football against a team that isn’t at the top of its game offensively.
This will be a chance for Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to get a remodeled Indianapolis defense up to speed, with the Texans not in top form. The Colts will try to attack Houston QB Matt Schaub by unleashing defensive ends Dwight Feeney and Robert Mathis, who combined for 85 tackles and 21 sacks a year ago.
And a Colts’ defense that was 20th overall will get its first look at linebacker Ernie Sims and defensive end Jamaal Anderson.