INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Andrew Luck was the center of attention Wednesday, but there was actual center-related news as well.
Ryan Kelly, the Indianapolis Colts’ 2016 first-round draft pick, will return to the lineup for Sunday’s meeting with the San Francisco 49ers in Lucas Oil Stadium. He missed the first four games after breaking a bone in his left foot on August 13.
“He’s back,’’ Chuck Pagano said Wednesday afternoon. “He’s starting.’’
Kelly’s return as the starting center coincides with the loss of Deyshawn Bond, the undrafted rookie and Warren Central High School product who started the first four games. Bond tore a quadriceps tendon in his left leg during the first quarter of Sunday’s loss at Seattle. He was placed on the injured reserve list Tuesday and will require surgery.
“It’s unfortunate,’’ Pagano said. “Young guy came in and did a great job in Kelly’s absence.’’
Kelly returned to practice on a limited basis last week, and there are no restrictions moving forward.
Pagano was asked if Kelly would have returned to the lineup if Bond hadn’t suffered the season-ending injury. Considering how well Bond had played in four games, the Colts could have given Kelly another week to heal.
“We would have had really good conversations,’’ Pagano said.
Kelly, he added, is “going to have to knock some rust off just like Vontae (Davis); the first game (at Seattle) wasn’t perfect.
“There’s going to be some moments, I guarantee you.’’
More medical matters: Bond’s situation aside, the Colts appear to be regaining their health.
Along with Kelly, running back Marlon Mack (shoulder), linebacker Anthony Walker (hamstring) and cornerback Chris Milton (hamstring) were expected to be full participants Wednesday. Cornerback Quincy Wilson (knee) was scheduled for limited repetitions.
Tight end Jack Doyle is going through the NFL’s concussion protocol and wore a red, non-contact jersey in practice. Wideout Chester Rogers (hamstring) remains out.