INDIANAPOLIS — There's still no official word on center Ryan Kelly's status for Sunday's game against Miami, but Evan Boehm made it very clear Tuesday he's ready and willing to step in if the Colts make the call.
“He’s been playing at an extremely high level, and so has this whole offensive line,” Boehm said. “My thing is to just go and get those guys’ trust this week during practice, just to show them that there’s not going to be a fall off at center, that I’m gonna step in where Kelly left off and take off and we’re gonna keep this thing rolling.”
Indianapolis (5-5) has been on an epic roll.
The Colts have not surrendered a sack since the first pass attempt at New England on Oct. 4, and Tennessee wasn't credited with a single hit on quarterback Andrew Luck on Sunday.
Kelly was injured during the fourth quarter of that 38-10 victory, when his left knee was twisted inside a pile during a running play. Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich said Monday the team was monitoring the situation but was not yet ready to put a status on the center's availability this week.
Kelly is one of just two offensive linemen to start every game for the Colts this season. Rookie left guard Quenton Nelson is the other. Indianapolis signed guard/center Josh Andrews off Philadelphia's practice squad Tuesday, raising more questions about Kelly's health.
Boehm was signed off the Rams' practice squad Oct. 8 and prepared that week as if he might start the Oct. 14 road game against the Jets. But Kelly recovered from a calf injury sufficiently enough to play that Sunday.
Much of Kelly's impact this season has come from making the pass protection calls before each snap. And the Colts see similar football IQ in Boehm.
“I know that he is a football guy,” offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said. “I do know that about him. His dad was a football coach. I think of (Chargers quarterback) Philip Rivers and how his dad was a football coach, and these guys love football. I’m not saying that everybody whose dad is a football coach loves ball, but I don’t think it hurts.
“... So one thing that I know about Evan is that he loves football, and he was born in it and that he’s going to prepare. He’s smart, and the guys have confidence that he’s going to get the right calls out. So that is one thing I know.”
Boehm started eight games at right guard for the Cardinals last season, but he feels much more comfortable at center. That's where he started a school-record 52 consecutive games at Missouri, and the leadership opportunity suits him well.
He was nearly giddy while talking with reporters at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday, and he's got plenty of confidence.
There are elements of the offenses he played in with Arizona in Indianapolis' playbook, and that increases Boehm's comfort level.
His main goal Sunday will be to play for his teammates. The Colts haven't allowed a sack for five complete games and 214 consecutive pass attempts. It's a streak that holds a lot of pride for the offensive line.
“It’s gonna be like that,” Boehm said. “We’re gonna keep that trend going. It’s not gonna fall off on my watch.”
Second-year cornerback Quincy Wilson made his second career interception Sunday against the Titans.
The former Florida star also played with an edge that has not been evident for much of the start of his career. At one point, he even went toe-to-toe with Tennessee offensive lineman Taylor Lewan after a particularly physical snap.
Wilson finished with three tackles and a pass defensed. Pro Football Focus charged just two catches for 24 yards against him in 33 pass coverage snaps.
“I think he’s really buying into the system in terms of how we play the style which we play, and I think he’s having enjoyment playing that way,” defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said. “I think he’s a good tackler. I think he likes to hit for a corner, and he likes to play aggressive. I think this defense allows you to do that, and I think he really likes the way it’s going there. He’s been working — really working — every single day and really hustling in practice. We are starting to see the fruits of that labor.”