AFC South Notes: Mallett, Castonzo, Jags

It wasn’t long ago that the AFC South was the laughingstock of the NFL, with the division’s first-place team sitting two games below .500 halfway through the season. The South hasn’t exactly turned into the league’s most fearsome division since then, but each team besides the 2-8 Titans is currently riding a multi-game winning streak, and the race for the South crown looks a little more competitive.

The 5-5 Colts and Texans both have winnable games on tap this weekend, with Indianapolis hosting the Bucs and Houston hosting the Saints, so it’s possible that by this time next week, the South could have two teams above .500 and entering the Wild Card conversation.

As we wait to see if the Colts, Texans, and Jaguars can extend their winning streaks, let’s round up the latest items from out of the division….

  • Ryan Mallett, who was released by the Texans after signing a two-year, $7MM+ deal with the team earlier in 2015, has filed for termination pay, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Because the veteran quarterback began the season with the team and hasn’t received termination pay previously in his NFL career, Mallett was eligible to receive his remaining salary for 2015, which works out to about $1.47MM — a prorated portion of $2.5MM. The Texans won’t owe any 2016 money to Mallett, who will be ineligible for termination pay in future seasons.
  • Speaking to reporters, including Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link), Colts coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday that offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo has an MCL sprain and will be week-to-week. Pagano also provided injury updates on wide receiver Phillip Dorsett and cornerback Vontae Davis, but the Castonzo news is most pressing for the Colts, and could force the team to shuffle its offensive line around.
  • In addition to working out defensive end Quanterus Smith, who signed with the team’s practice squad, the Jaguars also auditioned cornerback Robert Steeples this week, tweets Wilson.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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