Clark's drops an issue for Colts' offense

Dallas Clark is having a tough time.

Typically among the league leaders in receptions, the Colts' tight end has missed Peyton Manning as much as anyone. He’s got just 14 catches for 136 yards. He has scored one touchdown and has a long play of 21 yards. He’s been asked to block or been taken off the field in favor of blocking tight end Brody Eldridge far more often than he’s accustomed to.

All of which has surely contributed to an alarming number of drops.

John Fisher of ESPN Stats & Info tells me that Clark has six drops this season, one fewer than he had the previous two seasons combined. Clark had seven in 2008, four in 2009, two in 2010 and five in 2001.

Roddy White leads the league with seven drops, the only player this season with more than Clark.

Among players with 25 targets this season, Clark’s ratio of drops-to-receptions (5/14 or 0.36) is highest in the league, and it’s the third-highest in the NFL among all receivers.

Jim Caldwell was asked about Clark’s drops this week.

“Every once in a while things might not go exactly as we had planned,” Caldwell said. “You run into a rough spot here and there, but the great thing about it is you recognize that it’s such and Dallas will get to work. I still think that down the line somewhere there are some big plays to be had. He’ll catch the ball and he’ll do well like he’s always down around here. Every once in a while you’ll have a little slump.”

Curtis Painter seems to be gaining confidence with more and more targets the more he plays. Clark should be next.