The Indianapolis Colts will go into tonight’s preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals without Andrew Luck. They’ll play without Reggie Wayne. No T.Y. Hilton or Hakeem Nicks, either. Fortunately it’s all been planned. Tonight’s Colts game isn’t designed to work out the starters, but to make some tough decisions about their final roster spots. The Bengals are in much the same situation, giving plenty of reasons to watch tonight’s Colts / Bengals game online if possible.
The NFL was kind in making all Week 4 preseason games take place tonight. That gives everyone, including the Colts and Bengals, time to evaluate their role players in advance of Saturday’s final-roster deadline. As you watch Colts vs Bengals live online free preseason week 4, it should be especially clear why it’s so important to these two teams.
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said injuries and youth will require the Colts to play people they otherwise might not in tonight’s Bengals game.
“As much as you want to protect everybody, guys got to play,” Pagano told ESPN. “You consider the circumstances and the things that have transpired over the last week and a half, guys got to play.”
For instance, the Colts’ young offensive linemen need to prepare for the regular season. Guards Jack Mewhort and Hugh Thornton will see as many snaps as possible since they’re the likely Week 1 starters against the Denver Broncos. Indy can’t afford to not have superior protection for QB Andrew Luck.
The Colts ground game also needs fleshing out. Running back Vick Ballard was expected to contribute to a three-man backfield featuring Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw. Then he went down with an Achilles injury.
Fullback Stanley Havili was supposed to play too, until he was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, leaving Mario Harvey as Indy’s lone fullback. His entire career until this point has been played at linebacker.
The Bengals will also be watching tonight’s Colts game to see how their final roster fills out. That’s particularly true on special teams, where many of the final 20 or so players on the final 53-man roster will end up.
Cincy won’t need help on defense, where the Bengals are already among the best in the best in the NFL. Nor does the offense need much tweaking, as the Bengals have their starting QB in Andy Dalton and their backup QB, Jason Campbell, as well as their receiving and running games dialed-in headed into Week 1.
Tonight’s Indianapolis Colts / Cincinnati Bengals game kicks off at 7pm EST from Paul Brown Stadium. The game’s not on TV, but you can watch Colts vs Bengals live online free preseason week 4 if you’ve signed-up for the NFL Preseason Live service. That program lets fans watch all preseason NFL games for $19.99. NFL Network subscribers have another option to watch the game live on the NFL Online website. All that’s required there is to enter your login info for your satellite or cable TV provider.