The Houston Texans need to put the past behind them. Lots of "past.''
Off the field, getting ready for Sunday's meeting with AFC South rival Indianapolis has been about suspension issues. Houston sustains a serious pairs of blows this week when cornerback Bradley Roby and receiver Will Fuller - the team's best guys at their respective positions - were suspended six games each for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
''Any time you have someone on your team make a misstep, that's disappointing, then particularly when they are key contributors,'' interim coach Romeo Crennel said. ''So, what we'll have to do now is everybody as a group will have to tighten the belt straps and put our best foot forward and get ready for the game on Sunday.''
"The game on Sunday'' means a visit from Philip Rivers, the former Charges QB who at 39 now leads Indy.
'He's one of the smartest players I've ever played against,'' Houston's J.J. Watt said. ''He can call out your blitzes. He can call out your defensive schemes. He can tell guys they're misaligned on your defense. He's a brilliant player who does an insane amount of film study, who works extremely hard to master his craft and he's obviously done it at a high level for a long time.
"It's a great challenge for us and I'm looking forward to it.''
RECORDS: For the Colts, it's 7-4. They are coming off a tough loss to the Titans but have won four of six. For the Texans, it's a building 4-7.
ODDS: The Colts are 3.5-point favorites, with a 50.5-point total over/under.
FUN FACT: T.Y. Hilton isn't quite what he used to be. But ...
Hilton had a regular-season career-high 223 yards receiving in a win over the Texans in 2014, a 175-yard game against Houston in 2017 and in 2018 finished with 199 yards receiving against Houston.
OK, maybe that fact isn't all that "fun.''
WHEN: Sunday, December 6, 2020 at noon
LOCATION: NRG Stadium
TV/RADIO: CBS, SportsRadio 610
INJURIES For the Colts, four players - tackle Anthony Castonzo, linebacker Bobby Okereke, punter Rigoberto Sanchez and safety Khari Willis - have been ruled out. Two players - tackle Chaz Green and tight end Noah Togiai - are questionable.
Also, the Colts have activated DeForest Buckner from the COVID-19 list.
For Houston, fullback Cullen Gillaspia (back) and running back C.J. Prosise (illness) have been declared out for the game. Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock (illness) did not practice all week until Friday and is questionable. The Texans could get back running back David Johnson (concussion).
READ MORE: Deshaun For NFL MVP?
THE FINAL WORD: "He’s magical. He’s a magician, for sure. He gets things done at an unbelievable rate." - Tackle Laremy Tunsil on Houston QB Deshaun Watson, who has passed for 3,201 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions.