Colts notebook: All hands on deck for preseason opener vs. Packers
ANDERSON, Ind. – The first of five preseason games won’t be casually handled by the Indianapolis Colts.
All able-bodied players are expected to see playing time Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
“Everybody is going to play,’’ coach Chuck Pagano said Monday.
The prevailing question, especially with several front-line players: how much?
With five preseason games, it’s possible the Colts will treat the Packers and the Aug. 13 trip to Buffalo similarly. That would mean limited exposure for quarterback Andrew Luck and selected others. Running back Frank Gore played sparingly in last year’s preseason, and it’s doubtful that workload will increase.
As for Luck, he appeared in two series that consisted of 18 plays in last year’s preseason opener against Philadelphia. In the ’14 preseason opener against the New York Jets, he played one series that involved 12 snaps.
The extra preseason game should prove invaluable as the coaching staff attempts to evaluate the younger portion of the roster. The 90-man roster includes 24 rookies.
“Every practice, every game, every snap that these guys take is going to define and determine roles for all these guys,’’ coach Chuck Pagano said. “I can’t wait.
“It’s going to be exciting to cut these guys loose against a great football team and a great organization like Green Bay, Buffalo, Baltimore and the rest. We’re all excited, but you have to put the time in.’’
The team was without center Ryan Kelly Monday after the first-round draft pick sustained a strained left shoulder in Sunday’s practice. Pagano said Kelly is day-to-day.
With Kelly out, Jon Harrison worked extensively with the No. 1 offense. Rookie Austin Blythe was his backup.
Offensive line update:
While it’s risky to place too much emphasis on who’s working with a starting unit a week into camp, we’ll take the risk.
With Kelly out, the starting offensive line Monday consisted of Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, Jack Mewhort at left guard, Harrison at center, Denzelle Good at right guard and Joe Reitz at right tackle.
It appears Good has replaced Hugh Thornton. At least for now.
Play of the day:
Luck might have had his best day at camp, and it included a play that highlighted his mobility.
In red-zone work, Luck was flushed from the pocket and rolled to his left. At one point, he stopped, turned back to his right and fired a spiral to running back Robert Turbin between two defenders in the end zone for a touchdown.
More safety woes:
The Colts took another hit at safety. Rookie Andrew Williamson was waived-injured after suffering a knee injury Sunday. He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging test Monday that apparently showed enough damage to end his season.
It was the latest blow to the position. Projected starter Clayton Geathers is on the non-football injury list after breaking a bone in his right foot during the offseason. Rookie T.J. Green returned to practice Monday after missing a few days with a strained left calf.