Mailbag: Will Art Jones' return help the Colts' run defense?

Here’s this weekend’s Colts Mailbag:

Mike Wells: The numbers don't lie when it comes to Art Jones' impact. In the 104 snaps Jones has played this season, the Colts have not given up a rushing touchdown and they've allowed only five runs of at least 10 yards. The Colts have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns and 33 plays of at least 10 yards, including six to the Patriots, without Jones on the field. Jones just needs to stay healthy so that he can be a contributor on a regular basis. "Obviously it's been a frustrating time, but I have the mindset of a champion," Jones said. "I'm going to keep working every single day, studying my craft and do what I can to play my role here."

Wells: Jonotthan Harrison is the starter today, he'll be the starter tomorrow and he'll remain the starter going forward unless he completely collapses, which is unlikely. Has Harrison been great? No, but he hasn't been awful, either. The Colts' goal is for him to team with quarterback Andrew Luck for years to come. I wrote in a post earlier this week that the Colts averaged 118 yards a game rushing with Shipley as the starter and they're only averaging 95 yards a game with Harrison at center. Of course, the drop in rushing average can't be strictly pointed at Harrison.

Wells: I asked coach Chuck Pagano about Moncrief's lack of snaps the past few weeks. He had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh last month, but he's only been targeted twice in the two games since. "Certainly we know Donte is a very, very talented young player," Pagano said. "There's video evidence out there that the guy can make plays. He's going to have his opportunities. A lot depends on how the game goes, personnel groupings, how they play us, those type of things. Certainly we'd like to get him a few more opportunities because we know he can make a play."

Wells: Punt and kick return for the time being. But listen to Joshua Cribbs and he talks like he wants to get some snaps on offense. He could come in and run the wildcat formation. "I'll be right behind [Luck saying], 'You need a break? You need a break?' [Matt] Hasselbeck might be looking at me like, 'I'm his break.' Any time I'm out there, the defense has to prepare for me," Cribbs said. "So, having me here is another element. The coaches are talking about me doing some things on offense to try and add some more elements. If he needs a breather from throwing 300-yard games, I'll be there to change it up a little bit. It won't hurt."

Wells: Daniel "Boom" Herron is definitely the No. 2 back. As far as starting, Trent Richardson will dictate how things go for the most part unless Boom gives the Colts their first 100-yard rushing game since the 2012 season. Then Pagano will have to make a decision. Richardson is running out of chances to get things going. Everybody in the organization talked in the offseason about how Richardson had to produce. The Colts are about to play their 11th game of the season and he's yet to do it on a consistent basis.

From Twitter: Would you sign Ray Rice if you were the Colts' front office?

Wells: No. He's obviously dealt with some off-the-field issues, but he also been away from the game for a while now. Not only would the Colts have to deal with criticism from some of their fan base, they'd also have a player who was out of game shape and had to learn the system. We've all seen how long it's taken Richardson to learn the system.

From Twitter: Who will be the projected O-line starters on Sunday?

Wells: Gosder Cherilus (shoulder) has already been ruled out, so Joe Reitz is the front-runner to start at right tackle. Reitz will join the normal other four starters on the line - guards Jack Mewhort and Hugh Thornton, Harrison at center and Anthony Castonzo at left tackle.