Scott Tolzien gets the start at QB when Colts open preseason against Lions
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This much we know as the Colts’ preseason opener against the Detroit Lions looms: Scott Tolzien is your starting quarterback and Andrew Luck still is in rehab mode.
Also, it’s apparent virtually every able-bodied player will see action Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Chuck Pagano conceded while the team “will be smart’’ regarding how much certain players are on the field against the Lions, “you’ve got to practice. You’ve got to play.
“If you don’t play, you’re not going to be able to just show up when we’re in the (Los Angeles) Coliseum in a few weeks and flip a switch and be ready to go.’’
While Luck continues his rehab from January surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Tolzien has run the No. 1 offense. He’s been inconsistent throwing the football, but remains the only viable option until Luck returns.
Considering the tenuous situation at the most important position, might the Colts be especially cautious exposing Tolzien to possible injury during the preseason? Over the last two seasons, current backup Stephen Morris has been on the active roster for just three games, on the practice squad for 15 weeks and yet to step on the field for a regular-season game. Phillip Walker is a rookie.
Players need to play, insisted Pagano.
“Whether it’s 12 (Luck), 16 (Tolzien), 20 (Darius Butler) on defense, 21 (Vontae Davis) on defense, they’ve got to play,’’ he said. “Then there’s always that fine line. You want to get them to week 1. You want everybody to be healthy.
“I think we’re bigger, we’re stronger, we’re faster, we’re smarter, a competitive team. Guys have gone a great job in the offseason to get guys in good shape . . . but they’ve got to play.’’
Pagano was unable to offer an update on Luck’s rehab, including how much practice time he might need to be ready for the Sept. 10 opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
“We are where we are,’’ he said. “There’s no timeline. When they say he’s healthy and ready to go, we’ll get him out here.
“He’s played a lot of football.’’
Several prominent players continued to miss practice time Tuesday. The list included wide receivers Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett and Tevaun Smith, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, linebackers Jon Bostic and Deiontrez Mount, running back Marlon Mack, tight end Erik Swoope and cornerback Chris Milton.
During practice, wideout Chris Biggs left early.
Bracy (speed) added:
Rookie wideout Marvin Bracy went through a tryout with the Colts Monday, then was added to the roster and practiced Tuesday. He brings rare speed – 4.3 in the 40 – and the desire to make the switch from world-class sprinter to NFL receiver.
“For me, there is no ceiling,’’ the 5-9, 172-pound Bracy said. “It’s all up from here. I am at the bottom of the totem pole and I just have to work my way up and learn the system. I am a week behind, much behind a lot of these guys. I am just trying to learn the plays and learn the system and do what they ask me to do.’’
Bracy’s resume teems with accomplishments on the world track stage. He’s a three-time U.S. champion in the 60-meter dash and qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 100 meters.
An attempt at pursuing football and track at Florida State never materialized. Bracy has experienced being paid as a pro sprinter and now wants to earn a living in the NFL, with the Colts.
Bracy insisted he has a “passion for the sport. I walked away from a consistent track contract, in which I was making a great living, to pursue another dream. Just to make it happen, it is still surreal to me.’’
One of his biggest obstacles is to prove “that I am not just a speed guy, I can make the cuts and get in and out of breaks and that I am an all-around receiver.’’