The Indianapolis Colts will be without one of their leading pass catchers on Sunday when they face the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Chuck Pagano announced that tight end Jack Doyle will be out due to his concussion. He was a limited participant in practice this week, but did not sufficiently progress through the concussion protocol.
T.Y. Hilton is the Colts leading receiver, but Doyle has been a staple of this offense for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Through four weeks, Doyle is tied with Hilton in receptions (17), and second in yards (163) and targets (23). It’s safe to say he’s a notable part of their offense.
It’s always nice to get an opposing team weapon off the field, but it is worth noting the 49ers have actually handled tight ends fairly well. In fact, Football Outsiders ranks them No. 1 in defending tight ends. They held Greg Olsen to 18 yards, Jimmy Graham to one yard, Tyler Higbee to four yards, and Jermaine Gresham to 12 yards. There is a mix of good and mediocre tight ends in there.
Brandon Williams and Darrell Daniels are behind Doyle on the Colts’ depth chart, but neither should make a significant impact. This primarily opens the door for T.Y. Hilton to get targeted even more than normal. Williams, Donte Moncrief, and Kamar Aiken will all potentially get some opportunities, but I imagine the passing game will be the Hilton show.