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So far, Chuck Pagano has no complaints.
Sure, the Indianapolis Colts coach would prefer to be undefeated. But in light of circumstances, he finds little fault heading into Week 5.
Despite a parade of early-season injuries, including season-enders to tight end Dwayne Allen, running back Vick Ballard and left guard Donald Thomas, the Colts are 3-1 and have made dramatic defensive strides the past two weeks.
“Love the record. Would love to be 4-0; we’ll take 3-1 every time out,” Pagano said in advance of Sunday’s home game against the unbeaten Seattle Seahawks. “Great start to the first quarter of the season.
“I think we’ve gotten better every week, and that’s our main goal, to come out every ball game and say that we got better on both sides of the ball and special teams.”
Buoyed by a two-game winning streak, the Colts have been able to make strides despite multiple injuries to critical players.
For example, running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) and safety LaRon Landry (ankle) sat out last week and are questionable for the Seahawks. Rookie linebacker Bjoern Werner is out four to six weeks with a foot sprain. Fullback Stanley Havili is out with an ankle sprain. Center Samson Satele (elbow) missed the past two games but is expected to return Sunday. Linebacker Pat Angerer (knee) missed Weeks 1 and 3 but did play in last week’s 37-3 rout of Jacksonville.
Yet whatever fate injuries have thrown at the Colts, they’ve overcome them. In a big way.
Two weeks ago, they crushed the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, 27-7, on the road. They dealt an even worse beating to the Jaguars last week on the East Coast.
Pagano attributes the Colts’ seemingly seamless ability to persevere through injuries to a simple concept: preparation.
“Everybody’s accountable, and everybody’s held to a certain level of expectation. You’re one play away,” Pagano said. “We’ve seen it week in and week out since I’ve been here. It happens, so guys are going to get called upon.”
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