Colts’ Deon Cain out for season with torn ACL

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Deon Cain

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – At least Andrew Luck has his health. The same can’t be said for Deon Cain.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s preseason opening win in Seattle – Luck’s return to the playing field following a 585-day absence – the Indianapolis Colts discovered they’ve lost their rookie wide receiver for the season.

Cain, a sixth-round draft pick and a player in the midst of a solid training camp, tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in one of his knees. Surgery will be required and he’ll be placed on the injured reserve list.

“Really unfortunate, obviously,’’ coach Frank Reich said on a Friday evening conference call. “He was having a great camp. Everyone could see that.

“But we’ll support him and he’ll eventually get a procedure done and come back faster and stronger next year.’’

Cain injured his knee in the third quarter, although a review of game video didn’t reveal a traumatic incident. Reich said it appeared to occur when Cain was running a vertical route and tried to stop and come back toward the quarterback.

“Sometimes with those kind of injuries it’s not anything you see on television where you can tell a guy’s knee falls apart,’’ he said. “You didn’t see that happen.’’

While Cain’s rookie season is over almost before it began, the Colts have seen enough of the former Clemson standout to know he fits into their future. Reich praised him for his ability to be successful versus press coverage at the line of scrimmage.

“We know we’ve got something special in Deon Cain,’’ Reich said. “He’s a young guy who can develop into a great player. This is obviously a big setback, but you find in this league that’s not uncommon.

“Big players find a way of overcoming those obstacles and we’re counting on Deon overcoming this one as well.’’

The Colts will explore receivers on the free-agent market, but Reich seemed inclined to stick with the crop he’s got.

“We’re showing good progress,’’ he said. “These guys have been working hard. They’ve earned the right to have their opportunity to step up and fill the gap.’’

Fourteen different players caught passes against Seattle, including eight receivers. Cain had one catch for 4 yards before suffering his injury. Kasen Williams was the busiest receiver with four targets, three receptions and 46 yards.

While Cain’s season-ending injury was the major news coming out of the Seahawks game, it wasn’t the only medical issue.

Running backs Marlon Mack (hamstring) and Robert Turbin (ankle) are week-to-week, according to Reich, as is wideout James Wright (knee).

As for Luck, the team’s $140 million quarterback checked several more boxes on his continued comeback from January 2017 surgery on his right shoulder. He took 19 snaps that generated 124 total yards and two Adam Vinatieri field goals. Luck completed 6-of-9 passes for 64 yards. He also was hit on the tail end of a 1-yard scramble and absorbed a sack.

Luck’s ability to return to the huddle for the first time since Jan. 1, 2017 brought a smile to his first-year head coach’s face.

“It really did. Hopefully it brought a smile to the whole city, and really the NFL,’’ Reich said. “What I think is cool in this league is guys really root for each other. Quarterbacks root for one another.

“When a player like Andrew gets hurt and has that big of a setback and to be able to come back, it’s a boost in the arm for the whole league, but certainly for us here in our city and with our team.’’

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