After a much needed day off, the Indianapolis Colts returned to practice Wednesday afternoon. A light rain early on gave way to a sunny, warm afternoon and an eventful practice.
The big news of the day was left guard Donald Thomas re-tearing his right quad. He went down during scrimmage yelling and was later walked off the field. Its a tough blow for an offensive line that has more questions than answers.
A number of players were held out of practice as well. Vontae Davis and LaRon Landry continue to rehab on the far field and have yet to to participate in camp practices. Linebacker Josh McNary, cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, CB Cameron Jackson, and CB Qua Cox were also all out on Wednesday.
Tight end Dwayne Allen was held out as a precaution.
The Colts are starting to have serious injury concerns and we haven’t even played a preseason game. Two important players, Thomas and Vick Ballard, are now on IR. The Colts are often one of the most injured teams in the NFL too, so we can expect more to come.
Here is what Football Outsiders had to say about the Colts and injuries:
The Colts ranked 31st (110.3) in AGL for the third time in five years and have ranked 24th or worse in eight straight seasons. Jon Torine was the strength and conditioning coach from 1998-11, but he was replaced in 2012 by Roger Marandino. Despite three head coaches since 2002, GM Ryan Grigson’s annual roster purge and new philosophies on both sides of the ball, the Colts continue to be one of the NFL’s most injured teams each season.
T.Y. Hilton hurt his hand on a play against Greg Toler. Hilton had a large wrap of ice around his fingers for a time, but it didn’t seem overly concerning. It was reported that he merely jammed a finger and the ice was to prevent swelling. (UPDATE: his fingers were taped this morning during walkthroughs.)
The good news is that Toler is now injuring other players instead of himself. Now if he stops doing it to teammates, the Colts will be set.
Here is what stood out from practice:
- Coby Fleener continues to impress. He is looking like a more reliable target and is making better cuts in his route running. Fleener is also doing a better job of catching an controlling the ball with his hands, and doesn’t appear to be fighting himself anymore. He had a nice touchdown catch in red zone drills early in practice.
- Trent Richardson returned to practice and unfortunately look like his old self. He had a fumble on his first carry and it prompted groans from the fans. A bit later he redeemed himself with a dizzying spin at the line that led to a 10-plus yard run. He split carries with Ahmad Bradshaw.
- Andrew Luck was sharp in the hurry up offense (with 59 seconds on the clock). Incredibly sharp actually, it only took him three passes to go 55 yards for a touchdown. He opened up the drive with a 26-yard strike to Hilton, then an eight-yard pass to Fleener who was able to fall out of bounds, and then a perfect throw to Hilton in the back of the endzone on a post route.
- Unfortunately the next drive attempt wasn’t as successful with Luck’s first passed being tipped up into the air and D’Qwell Jackson coming away with the interception.
- Da’Rick Rogers is a perplexing player. He is nearly maddeningly inconsistent and reminds me of Pierre Garcon in 2010. He had a bad drop in drills and then followed it up with a great catch that prompted praise from Chuck Pagano. Rogers had a touchdown during the second team’s hurry up drive as well, making a tight cut at the goal line and keeping the ball away from the defender as he backed in.
- Bjoern Werner would have had a couple sacks today. He is looking much better and appears to have added a couple moves to his arsenal. The shoulder dip to avoid contact looked particularly impressive and Werner’s pull rush was knocking Gosder Cherilus off the line. Perhaps he will catch Peyton Manning off guard in Week One.
- Reggie Wayne‘s ability to get open is unreal. He seems to lull the defense to sleep and all of the sudden he has the ball. The secondary was beating itself up a number of times over his wide open receptions.
- Running back Dan Herron was impressive running with the second team offense. I would place him third on the depth chart right now. Herron did a nice job of creating space and using a stutter step or juke to get a few extra yards.
The Colts will host their first night practice on Wednesday.