TE Dwayne Allen downgraded to doubtful

INDIANAPOLIS -- All indications point to the Indianapolis Colts not having their starting tight end for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

The Colts downgraded tight end Dwayne Allen to doubtful Saturday afternoon because of an injured hip. The decision to do that isn’t surprising because Allen did not practice all week. He was supposed to go to the team’s facility and test his hip out Saturday. Allen got injured in the second half of the Sept. 8 game against the Oakland Raiders.

Coby Fleener will start at tight end with Dominique Jones and Jack Doyle being the backups if Allen doesn't play.

Running back Vick Ballard is out for the rest of the season after injuring his knee in practice Thursday.

It’s never good to lose players, especially starters, but the timing of Ballard’s knee injury and Allen’s likely absence comes right before the Colts face a Miami defense that had six sacks against Cleveland in Week 1.

Ballard was perfect in blocking assignments against the Raiders, and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton talked about Allen’s blocking ability during the preseason.