Breaking: Vontae Davis OUT for Colts Sunday; Big for Browns


The Cleveland Browns got some good news today as the Indianapolis Colts will be without their best cornerback, Vontae Davis, Sunday:

Davis, out with a concussion, has had a stellar season, catapulting him into the discussion as a Top 10 corner in the league. Davis was drafted 25th overall by the Miami Dolphins. He wasn’t able to live up to that draft position with the Dolphins and was traded to the Colts for  a second round pick.

Since then Davis has shown that his talent level was well worth a first round pick. He signed a 4 year deal with the Colts in March and has been a bright spot for a Colts defense that has really struggled. For the season he has 30 tackles, 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. He has defended 16 passes as well this year.

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  • Most opponents avoid throwing at Davis if possible. Davis has the physical strength to match-up at the line as well as the speed and football IQ to make plays off man.

    With the Colts offense, profiled here, being prolific opposing offenses have had to throw more often than they would often like. Combine that with their avoidance of Davis’ side of the field and offenses often became predictable.

    For the Browns this gives them a chance if the game gets into a shoot out. Brian Hoyer won’t have to worry about Davis jamming Josh Gordon at the line or his catch up and ball skills once Gordon gets into his route. Instead it means the Colts won’t be able to play Gordon 1 on 1, giving other receivers more space to operate.

    With Miles Austin out for the year, expect to see more Taylor Gabriel and Travis Benjamin on Sunday. Gabriel is a fine route runner with good speed while Benjamin’s speed is electric when he gets in the open field. If Jordan Cameron is able to return, Hoyer could have a lot of weapons to go with Gordon and Andrew Hawkins.

    Without Davis the Colts will have Greg Toler, a 4th round pick in his 6th season and 2nd team, and Darius Butler, a second rounder also in his 6th season now on his 3rd team, likely starting. They will be backed up by undrafted 4th year man Josh Gordy, playing for his 3rd team, and 4th round pick Jalil Brown, on his second team in his forth year.

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    Needless to say the drop off from Davis to the rest is big. Toler plays fine as a 2nd corner but will need a ton of support from both the linebacking and safety groups to help against the Browns passing game. The loss of Davis also could lead to more open holes for the run game, as the defense worries about getting burned on the backend.

    Expect Chuck Pagano to try to bring pressure to impact the Browns pass game. This could lead to quick hitters to the speedy receiving corp and a bigger incorporation of running back screens.

    In a game that is more likely to be a high scoring affair, unlike last weeks game with the Bills, the Colts losing stud corner Vontae Davis is a big deal. Can Brian Hoyer and the Browns offense capitalize to combat the great Colts offense? We will find out soon enough.

    How big of a deal do you think the Vontae Davis injury is for Sunday’s game?