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Colts hoping 10-day gap between games helps them get healthy

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The 10-day break in between games for the Indianapolis Colts goes beyond quarterback Andrew Luck needing to rest his right arm after attempting 121 passes during a two-game span.

Luck isn't injured. His arm is probably just a little tired after his two-game attempt total is the second most in NFL history.

The break is for Anthony Castonzo. Marlon Mack. Jack Doyle. T.Y. Hilton. Kenny Moore. Nate Hairston. Denico Autry. Matthias Farley. And there's also Darius Leonard and several other injured Colts.

There's no getting around it: The Colts are an injured, depleted roster and these 10 days are the best thing that could happen for them.

"Couple of extra days rest probably comes at a good time for us," head coach Frank Reich said.

Reich isn't backing himself into the corner on which players will be back for the Oct. 14 game at the New York Jets. He said they'll probably get only "one or two guys back."

It doesn't matter how many players the Colts get back, they just know they need some healthy bodies -- preferably several key ones -- after they had only 40 of a possible 46 players available by the end of their 38-24 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday.

"It's always tough to play on a short week, but you turn it around and you end up with a gap," Colts linebacker Najee Goode said. "It's always good to take some time to reflect. It's going to be good to regroup and work on all the little things we didn't get the time to do in short week. The thing is consistency. We have to be consistent."

These aren't just any players on the roster the Colts are missing. They were without 10 offensive and defensive starters by the time they recorded their third straight loss and fourth overall. The players have the weekend off before returning to the facility early next week.

Castonzo, who has yet to play a snap this season, dressed but was only going to play in an emergency Thursday. Leonard and Hairston tested out their injured ankles in warm-ups before it was determined that they wouldn't play. Those three players might have the best chance of playing in Week 5. The break might not be enough for Hilton, as there's some concern his hamstring injury, which happened in Week 4, could linger.

"We need it," Colts tight end Eric Ebron said. "We need it bad in fact. Hope these days will helps us get healthier so we can start getting some W's in the win column. Everyone knows no matter how hard we fought, but doesn't matter what we lose by. If you lose by three every single game, your record still says 1-4. So you're 1-4."

Injury excuses aren't flying out of the mouths of players the same way Luck is flinging the ball down the field. The opposite is happening. They're playing with the players they have available while taking their lumps and having Luck try to strap the offense on his broad shoulders to carry them.

The reality, though, is that the Colts can't expect to get by with inexperienced players, especially at receiver, if they truly believe they can turn around the team's worst start since the 2011 season.

"I wish there was a secret answer," center Ryan Kelly said. "A lot of it is self-inflicted s---. Shoot yourself in the foot, penalties, stuff like that. I wish I could tell people something they've never heard before. Our 1-4 record is not where you want to be. Wish there could [be] a magical pill that you could take and everything would be OK. That's not the case. So it's up to us to get things turned around."