Indianapolis — Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich first learned about Eric Ebron’s problematic ankle before last week’s game.
On Monday, the injury ended Ebron’s season.
The Pro Bowl tight end was placed on the injured reserve list, dealing a Colts already struggling offense yet another jarring blow.
“He came in last week — it flared up on him,” Reich said. “Prior to that, really there were no problems with it as far as practice or playing.
"Then when it flared up on him last week, it became a little bit of an issue so we ended up having to make the move we did today.”
The timing couldn’t be worse for the Colts (6-5).
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett already is playing with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, starting running back Marlon Mack already has been ruled out of this week’s game with a fractured right hand, four-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton returned from an injured calf in Thursday night’s loss albeit on a limited basis and No. 2 receiver Devin Funchess continues trying to work his way back from a broken collarbone that was suffered in the season opener.
The Colts have lost three of four to fall out of the AFC South lead and into a tie for second place with surging Tennessee (6-5), which comes to town Sunday. And they play three of their last four on the road.
But the bigger mystery appears to be the injury itself.
Reich said he was aware Ebron, a former Lion, had a scan on his ankle before training camp but was only told it was bothering Ebron last week. Ebron, meanwhile, used his Twitter account to detail his own account.
“Unfortunately, I have been dealing with an ankle injury since the beginning of the season,” Ebron wrote. “Up to this point, the team and I have done everything in our power to manage the pain and get me out there each and every week. My goal was to push off surgery until the offseason, but at this point the pain has become unbearable and I can no longer give my team or the fans a worthwhile version of myself.”
Ebron’s role in the offense also had declined in the wake of Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement and the return of Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle this season. Through 11 games, he had 31 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns compared with 66 receptions for 750 yards and 13 TDs in 16 games last season.
He can now become a free agent in March.
“Obviously, Eric has been a good playmaker for us. He had a big year last year. He is always a threat,” Reich said.
“He’s a very talented tight end with a lot of speed, so we’ll miss that.”
Ravens rout Rams
Lamar Jackson added another argument to his Most Valuable Player case in his “Monday Night Football” debut, leading the fearsome Baltimore Ravens to another blowout win.
Jackson matched his career high with five touchdown passes and ran for 95 yards in another splendid all-around performance, and the Ravens routed the host Los Angeles Rams 45-6 on Monday night for their seventh consecutive victory.
Mark Ingram rushed for 111 yards and a TD and caught a scoring pass while the Ravens (9-2) became the fourth team in the 21st century to score touchdowns on its first six drives in a game. With Jackson operating almost flawlessly at the controls, Baltimore embarrassed a previously solid Rams defense by racking up 480 yards with its evolving brand of high-octane football.
The Ravens’ 22-year-old quarterback went 15 for 20 for 169 yards while constantly making smart decisions with his arm and his feet. He hit Willie Snead with his fifth TD pass with 14:43 to play and took the rest of the night off.
Snead and Marquise Brown had two TD catches apiece for the Ravens, whose winning streak is their longest since they won seven straight to close the 2000 season on the way to their first Super Bowl title. At 9-2, the Ravens have matched their best start since 2012, which ended in their second Super Bowl championship. Baltimore has outscored its last three opponents 135-26.
Jared Goff passed for 212 yards with two interceptions and Todd Gurley rushed for just 22 for the defending NFC champion Rams (6-5), who took the worst loss of their three seasons under coach Sean McVay.
Los Angeles hadn’t lost by more than 21 points in its first 43 games under McVay.
A different tune
Wyatt Ray is getting another chance to be a big hit in the NFL. The New York Jets signed the linebacker with famous musical bloodlines to the practice squad Monday.
Ray is the grandson of the late Nat King Cole and nephew of the late Natalie Cole. Ray’s mother Casey and aunt Timolin are twin younger sisters of Natalie Cole.
Ray was released from Buffalo’s practice squad on Nov. 6 after being signed last month. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound pass rusher was signed by Cleveland in May as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College. He was among the Browns’ final cuts in training camp and also spent time on Houston’s practice squad earlier this season.
Ray had 17 career sacks at Boston College, including nine sacks in 12 games in his last season.
The Jets released linebacker Jamey Mosley to make room for Ray on the practice squad.