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AFC South Whispers

Injuries, blocking duties hold down Daniels' receiving totals

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By PFW staff

Following are the whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC South:

• In the first four games of the season, Texans TE Owen Daniels was targeted just 16 times, and he had just seven catches. Of note is that Daniels has been regularly utilized as a blocker in the running game, the way we hear it. The Texans held Daniels out of training camp and the preseason as he recovered from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered last November, and he returned to the playing field in time for Week One. He has not been on the injury report with the knee since Week Three, but a hamstring injury has bothered him recently, and he missed his first practices of the regular season leading up to the Week Four game at Oakland. "I think we were smarter with him last week and I think it showed in speed on the field," head coach Gary Kubiak said leading up to the Week Five game vs. the Giants.

• Colts CB Kelvin Hayden is not playing up to his usual standards. After playing really well earlier in his career, Hayden was slowed by injuries in 2009, and now he doesn't seem like the same player. He is just treading water out there, according to our sources.

Jack Del Rio's decision not to ask Josh Scobee to try extra-long field goals until the end of the game is interesting. Del Rio said that Scobee's confidence took a hit from missing a few long ones early last season. Judging from Scobee's successful 59-yarder as time expired against the Colts, Del Rio's approach appears to be working.

• Colts SS Melvin Bullitt wasn't the fastest or strongest guy, but he was a very heady player. What the Colts will miss with him more than anything is the role he served as a coach on the field.

• Jaguars DL Jeremy Mincey's sack of Peyton Manning in the Week Four win over the Colts is encouraging, particularly given the fact that DE Derrick Harvey continues to disappoint. It's looking less and less likely that Harvey will be a part of the Jaguars' long-term plans.

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