The Indianapolis Colts haven’t had star quarterback Andrew Luck all preseason, and the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had star running back Le’Veon Bell. Neither will change Saturday night when the 0-2 Colts visit the 2-0 Steelers in NFL preseason action. For this matchup, the Colts are underdogs in the NFL lines against the Steelers on Saturday.
NFL Preseason Lines & Preview for Indianapolis at PittsburghNFL LiveOpening NFL Lines: Steelers -6 (41)
- Clear: 21°C/70°F
- Humidity: 48%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Wind: 6 mph NE
- Cloud Cover: 20%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Steelers Rule 4 OutPittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey, Bell, Demarcus Ayers and Landry Jones have been ruled of Saturday’s preseason game against the Colts. Pouncey has been dealing with a leg injury throughout training camp, while Ayers has also been dealing with an injury in recent weeks. Jones has yet to play in a preseason game after injuring his abdomen during the first week of training camp.That Bell isn’t playing is not a surprise considering he’s still holding out. Bell implied in a tweet Tuesday night that he will rejoin the team on Sept. 1 — a day after Pittsburgh’s final preseason game. Responding to a Twitter user who asked when he would return to the field, Bell tweeted: “9-1-17.” Bell isn’t happy that the Steelers slapped the $12.1 franchise tender on him. He wants a long-term deal.The Steelers believed they were close to securing a five-year deal with Bell before the July 17 deadline for signing players on franchise tags to extensions. But per that report, Bell “nixed the contract” at “the last minute.” He has to sign the franchise tag if he wants to play this season.
Who Else Could We See Playing on Saturday?Rookie RB James Conner is listed behind Fitzgerald Toussaint on the Steelers’ latest depth chart. Toussaint started the Steelers’ second preseason game and is listed as the interim starter. Conner is listed on the twos along with Knile Davis. Although Conner totaled 101 yards from scrimmage in his preseason debut last Sunday, he struggled with a few drops.QB Ben Roethlisberger expects to play for the first time this preseason on Saturday, but not very long. Roethlisberger said the playing time is about getting the offense fine-tuned in advance of the season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 10. “I think that’s what it’s going to depend on how well we play, how long we play,” said Roethlisberger. “I’ll probably go two series.”
Will Luck Play Week 1?The Colts pretty clearly have to be preparing for life without Luck to start this season. While General Manager Chris Ballard said recently that Luck’s strength levels are up from last year, there’s still no sign that his return is imminent. Luck is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.Coach Chuck Pagano was asked how much practice time Luck would need to be ready and he said they won’t “know until we get him out here.” Presumably, Scott Tolzien remains the starter for now after completing 12 of 19 passes for 94 yards and no touchdowns in two preseason games.
Who’s Been the Best Quarterback in the NFL Preseason?Stephen Morris has put up the best numbers so far among the team’s four quarterbacks, completing 24 of 35 passes for 205 yards while leading the Colts to their only two touchdowns of the preseason while playing in the fourth quarter. He took second-team snaps in practice this week. Pagano hasn’t ruled out Morris potentially passing Tolzien on the depth chart.Indy still has one question on the offensive line: right tackle. While second-year lineman Le’Raven Clark mostly worked with the first-team at right tackle to begin training camp, others have emerged as starting candidates at the position, including Jeremy Vujnovich — who has started the Colts’ first two preseason games at right tackle — and even 2017 fourth-round pick Zach Banner. In addition, center Ryan Kelly recently had foot surgery and will miss 6-8 weeks. Kelly, the Colts’ first-round pick in 2016, started every game during his rookie season.
Indianapolis Colts vs Pittsburgh Steelers Game HistoryThe Colts lost at home in Week 12 of the 2016 regular season to Pittsburgh, 28-7. Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown hooked up for three touchdowns. Indy’s only score came on a 5-yard TD pass from Tolzien to Donte Moncrief early in the second quarter. Luck was out with a concussion. Tolzien finished 22 of 36 for 205 yards with one TD and two interceptions.
- Total Meetings: 29
- First Meeting: November 12th, 1950. Forbes Field. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Last Meeting: November 24th, 2016. Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis, Indiana.
- All-Time Series: Pittsburgh 23-6-0
- Largest Margin of Victory: Pittsburgh 45-3 (1985)
- Longest Win Streak: Pittsburgh 9 (1985-2002)
- Current Win Streak: Pittsburgh 4 (2011-2016)
NFL Preseason Game Trends
- Colts are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC.
- Steelers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Steelers are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. AFC.