Colts rookie Phillip Dorsett forced into action
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Phillip Dorsett is trying to keep his focus on what's in front of him.
The Colts rookie has been thrown into the mix early with an opportunity to make an impact right away, both as a receiver and punt returner. Dorsett could have a chance to play an even bigger role this week if T.Y. Hilton isn't ready to play against the Jets on Monday night.
Indy's Pro Bowl receiver didn't practice Friday for the second straight day because of a knee injury suffered in last weekend's loss to Buffalo.
Dorsett said he will be ready to go if called on.
''It's the next man mentality,'' he said. ''I just have to fill in. There really can't be much of a drop off. We have to always stay ready. That's one thing that I always prepare myself to be able to be ready in practice so that when my time comes, I'm able to execute.''
Dorsett struggled in his first NFL game with mistakes that only added to Indy's woes on special teams. He had two muffed punts in the fourth quarter, including one that Buffalo recovered and eventually cashed in with a field goal to take a 27-8 lead.
''At the time, of course it was frustrating,'' Dorsett said. ''We don't ever want to put the ball on the ground, but it's a learning experience. It's something you have to learn from and I'm glad it happened in the first game and not a critical game when it's really going to count.''
Donte Moncrief, in his second season with the Colts, had a mishap on special teams, too. He stepped out of the end zone on a kickoff return and fell down at the 4-yard line - one of three drives for Indianapolis (0-1) that started inside the 10-yard line.
Aside from the mistakes by Moncrief and Dorsett, and a few other little details, Colts coach Chuck Pagano said there isn't anything to worry about with Indy's special teams.
''Other than that I thought it was pretty good,'' he said this week. ''We're young and we've got a bunch of guys that it's their first professional outing returning kicks.''
Right now, the Colts are just trying to figure things out and the roles for their players. On Friday, the Colts moved cornerback Eric Patterson from the practice squad to the 53-man roster to replace D'Joun Smith, who hasn't practiced this week because of a knee injury.
Cornerbacks Greg Toler (neck) and Darius Butler (hip) also haven't practiced this week.
It's still unclear if linebacker Robert Mathis will return against the Jets after limited practice time. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said Mathis is ''day-to-day and week-to-week.''
The 6-time Pro Bowler was inactive last week against Buffalo and hasn't played in a game since the Colts lost to New England in the playoffs in January 2014, due to a suspension and an Achilles tendon injury.
Notes: Linebacker Bjoern Werner was limited in practice Friday with a knee injury. . Offensive guard Todd Herremans (shoulder) and D'Qwell Jackson (toe) returned to full practice.