Day two of the Indianapolis Colts training camp was not nearly as heartening as the first.
The big news from today will be the loss of running back Vick Ballard. He appeared to hurt his ankle during individual drills and was taken off the field on a cart. Reports now indicate it is a torn achilles.
Colts RB Vick Ballard tore his Achilles, sources say. He was carted off the field earlier.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 25, 2014
Its a tough loss for a player who had just returned from a torn ACL early last season, also in practice.
The Colts have five other running backs on the roster, but the top two on the depth chart also have issues. Ahmad Bradshaw, who is returning from a season ending neck injury, took starter snaps today. Trent Richardson, the likely starter, was kept out of practice for precautionary reasons.
A few other players were also held out of practice today. Fullback Stanley Havili is on the PUP list. Safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Vontae Davis were both held out as well. Those three could be seen doing drills at the far end out practice.
Rookie guard Jack Mewhort was held out due to a sore knee.
Here is what stood out from the actual practice:
- Sloppyness. There were a lot of dropped passes and the offense wasn’t nearly as sharp as it was on Thursday. Even the touch by the quarterbacks seemed to be off a bit.
- If the offense dominated yesterday, the defense was sharper today. Tighter coverage most of the time and more consistent pressure. They also forced a number of turnovers.
- There was more rotation today. Andrew Luck was able to get in reps with many of the second and third wide receivers and tight ends.
- Robert Mathis was once again taking snaps with the second unit and took more snaps off than yesterday. He spent more time coaching up the likes of Bjoern Werner in between plays. If there is one person on defense who is allowed to take plays off during camp, its Mathis.
- Rookie DE Jonathan Newsome looked good during drills.
- Dwayne Allen stood out and appeared to take more snaps today. During drills, he leaned back to catch an underthrown pass causing him to trip, but he made the catch and got right back up.
- Coby Fleener looks good as well. He was sharp on his routes and a reliable target.
- All the tight ends were used more frequently today. The offense often lined up with at least two on the field and rarely on the line. Fleener even lined up out wide a few times.
- Reggie Wayne approaches every single snap with the same discipline. He wants to dominate constantly. Wayne’s route running is enough to get him open, even without burner speed. He had a slant route then broke outside into space and was wide open for what would have been a touchdown. It is beautiful to watch him pick apart an opponent.
- Wayne still has fun on the field too. On a cross, Luck placed the ball perfectly in front of him with Darius Butler on his back. Wayne made the catch and held it out, taunting Butler with the ball and laughing.
- Matt Hasselbeck had a rough day. He threw three interceptions and was generally inaccurate with the ball. Mike Adams had the first pick after a pass behind Hakeem Nicks slipped through his hands. CB Marcus Burley took the ball out of Da’Rick Rogers hands of the second, and Loucheiz Purifoy had the third and nearly a touchdown.
- Cory Redding is the vocal leader for the defense. He was constantly getting the team hyped and celebrating every big play. Redding was the first to congratulate every player with an interception.
- With Mewhort out, Lance Louis rotated in with Donald Thomas at left guard.
- Adam Vinatieri had the day off and Cody Parkey took kicking duties. During special teams practice, Parkey hit a 59-yard field goal.
Little things that stood out:
- Redding really likes to remind teammates that they can’t hit Luck. He also likes to the Luck know as well, once shouting “Lucky we can’t touch you!” while closing.
- Luck seemed frustrated all day long. Every drop or batted pass seemed to annoy him. Fans who watched Peyton Manning practice would likely say the same thing.
- Wide receiver Josh Lenz had a nice play where he caught a deep pass from Hasselbeck and split the safeties, would have likely been a touchdown. Outside linebacker Cam Johnson might have had a sack on the play though.
Make sure to check back in with Ink On Indy for camp updates.