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Colts will miss starting center Ryan Kelly against the Patriots

Related: Patriots vs. Colts Thursday injury report: Nine questionable for New England, including Damien Harris

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jonathan Taylor might be the best running back in the NFL right now, having gained a league-high 1,348 rushing yards on 241 carries so far this season and finding the end zone 16 times. The Indianapolis Colts’ second-year phenom would not be able to achieve his success without one of the best offensive lines in football, though.

That group, however, will be down one of its starters on Saturday night against the New England Patriots. As the Colts announced, center Ryan Kelly (knee/illness/personal) will not participate in the contest and has been downgraded from questionable to out.

Kelly was one of three Colts listed on the final injury report heading into the weekend. The two-time Pro Bowl center and second-team All-Pro was activated from the Coronavirus reserve list just earlier this week, but he did not participate in Thursday’s practice.

Losing Kelly is obviously a blow to the Colts offense — a unit that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised as well-balanced earlier this week, especially because of the blocking up front.

“The Colts are a well-balanced team. It starts with the offensive line,” said head coach Bill Belichick about Indianapolis’ O-line earlier this week. “They have a lot of experience on the line with Kelly, [Quenton] Nelson, [Mark] Glowinski, [Braden] Smith, and [Eric] Fisher. They definitely know what they’re doing and they’ve done it together for a while, other than Fisher.”

With Kelly out, the Colts will likely turn to backup center Danny Pinter again. Pinter already started Indianapolis’ Week 13 win over the Houston Texans. In total, the 25-year-old has started just two games over the course of his career.

Meanwhile, Grover Stewart (illness) saw his “questionable” designation removed. The third Colt listed on the injury report — fellow defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (calf) — was already ruled out on Thursday.

The Patriots’ game versus the Colts will be kicked off at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.