INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – You’ve been warned.
The NFL announced the preseason schedule Wednesday – the Indianapolis Colts open at Seattle the second week of August – but first-time head coach Frank Reich already has tamped down expectations in the local market.
Here is the full schedule for the Colts 2018 Preseason:
- Week One – Date TBA – Colts at Seahawks
- Week Two – August 20 – Ravens at Colts
- Week Three – August 25 – 49ers at Colts
- Week Four – August 30 – Colts at Bengals
Yes, the preseason offers the unveiling of the latest edition of the Colts and, perhaps, the first appearance by rehabbing Andrew Luck since the final game of the 2016 season. But only to a point.
“The preseason games mean nothing, so we show nothing in preseason,’’ Reich told season ticket holders at a February town hall. “We show nothing in preseason. We don’t want to give anybody any competitive advantage.
“We play to win in preseason. We play hard. We play fast. It’s a great time to evaluate.’’
But it’s not the appropriate forum to showcase Reich’s new offense or the revamped defense of first-time coordinator Matt Eberflus. That will occur when the Colts open their 35th season in Indy the first week of September. The regular-season schedule is expected to be released next week.
The preseason schedule begins with the opener at Seattle and closes with – that’s right – the traditional meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals August 30. The neighbors, separated by a 100-mile stretch of I-74, gather at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Colts and Bengals are meeting for the 27th time in the preseason, including for an 18th straight year. They’re closing the preseason for 16th straight season.
Sandwiched between the Seahawks and Bengals are a prime-time meeting the Baltimore Ravens Aug. 20 at Lucas Oil Stadium and an Aug. 25 home game with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Seattle date and kickoff times will be announced later.
For those keeping track, the preseason hasn’t produced favorable results for the Colts. They last posted a winning record in 2003 (3-1). Over the last 14 seasons, they’re 16-40.
It remains to be seen whether Luck’s on-going rehab will have progressed to the point he’s ready to step on the playing field. Even though the team’s $140 million quarterback hadn’t begun throwing a regulation football as of Monday, he was optimistic he would be throwing without limitations when training camp opens in late July or early August.
Even if Luck hits that mark, it’s anybody’s guess how much exposure he’ll get during preseason games.