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NFL: AUG 01 Indianapolis Colts Training Camp

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INDIANAPOLIS The Colts have opened up the 21-day window for Jonathan Taylor to practice.

Taylor’s return to practice will have to wait one more day though as the Colts elected to push their first practice of Week 5 to Thursday, following back-to-back overtime games.

What did we learn from the Colts on Wednesday?

  • Again, Jonathan Taylor can start practicing now, and his 2023 debut in that capacity is expected to take place on Thursday. Taylor could start playing in games as early as Sunday, though a corresponding roster move will need to happen later this week. With the shortening of the practice schedule for this week (from 3 practices to 2), Shane Steichen had this to say in terms of that impacting Taylor possibly playing on Sunday: “We’ll see. We’ll see how practice goes. We’ve got the walk-through (Wednesday) and then practice Thursday and Friday, so we’ll see where he’s at.” Thursday will be Taylor’s first-ever work with Anthony Richardson and running in an offense incorporating a new approach to the run game. For those curious when Taylor will meet the media, which he hasn’t done since mid-June, he technically doesn’t have to until he’s officially back on the 53-man roster.


  • Rams head coach Sean McVay had some high praise for Anthony Richardson when looking back on Sunday. “…A freaking stud,” is how McVay described Richardson in his Rams’ coaches show. “Anthony Richardson, that guy is a problem. And I think Shane Steichen and those guys do an excellent job.” Looking back on Richardson’s performance from Sunday, we saw an off-script creator making down the field plays, mostly from outside the pocket. Richardson led the NFL in Week 4 with a completed air yards number of 12.6 and an intended air yards number at 12.4. Those numbers dwarfed the dink and dunk nature to Richardson’s first NFL start (3.3 completed air yards average and 5.5 intended air yards average). In going back and (roughly) charting Richardson’s 11-of-25 afternoon, there was a stark contrast between out-of-pocket success vs. in the pocket. By my estimate, Richardson was an impressive 5-of-6 when throwing from outside of the pocket on Sunday, but he was just 6-of-19 from inside the pocket. That’s why it was a bit head-scratching to see Shane Steichen dial up 3 passes from inside the pocket on the final drive of regulation, with the Colts having an opportunity to win the game. All 3 pass attempts fell incomplete. The pumping of the ball down the field and this inside/outside pocket split will be some things to watch from Richardson moving forward.


  • It’s not at the forefront of the storylines when discussing a possible return of Jonathan Taylor, but whenever that does happen it’ll lessen the rare workload Zach Moss has received in the last 3 weeks. Moss has played the 3 highest snap counts of his career in the last 3 games. Sustaining that for an entire season is lofty, so this is another, more short-term, angle when discussing a Taylor return.


  • Derrick Henry is a freak. And he has been a methodical 100-yard rusher seemingly every time he faces the Colts. He’s rushed for more than 100 yards in 7 of his last 8 games against the Colts. For his career, Henry is averaging 5.09 yards per carry. The Colts are 1 of 5 opponents Henry has averaged more than 5 yards per carry against.


  • To be fair there aren’t many Colts in the Chris Ballard who have left Indy in free agency and had success elsewhere. But Denico Autry certainly is atop that list. The Colts let Autry walk in free agency back in 2021 and he’s flourished with the Titans. It’s pretty to crazy to think that since the Colts traded for DeForest Buckner (giving up the 13th pick and paying Buckner major money), it’s actually Autry who has had more sacks since that move (even with playing in 6 less games than Buckner). And that’s despite Autry making about $12-13 million less than Buckner. Autry had 3 sacks in 2 games against the Colts last season and has 3.5 already this season. As a durable and versatile defensive lineman, it was surprising back a few years ago that the Colts didn’t sweeten things for Autry, especially with how Ballard views the defensive line. Autry has expressed some frustration about that and it’s shown in his play against his former team.


  • As the Colts play their third AFC South opponent of the season, it’s a reminder that Mike Vrabel has had his way with the Colts as of late. The Titans have won 5 straight over the Colts and are 8-4 against Indy in the Chris Ballard era. Both these teams have some similarities in how they’ve been built, how they want to play, and it’s a big reason why Jim Irsay has been so fired up about his team’s recent lack of success against Tennessee. While the Colts interviewed Vrabel in that 2018 head coaching cycle, they’ve watched the Titans with him at the helm be the most consistent AFC South team in this span, while Irsay is now on his 4th different head coach.


  • It’s a wild discrepancy between the home and road splits for the Titans this season. The Titans are 2-2, with 2 wins at home and 0 on the road. They’ve scored all 6 of their touchdowns at home this season, averaging 27 points per game and 370 yards per game. On the road, they’ve yet to score a touchdown, have averaged 9 points per game and 189.5 yards per game. Good news for the Colts getting the traveling Titans this Sunday?


  • The Colts enter Sunday having lost 7 straight games. It’s the second-longest home losing streak in the 40-year history of the franchise. The last home win was October 16, 2022 over the Jaguars in a game Matt Ryan threw it 58 times, Frank Reich was still the head coach, Deon Jackson and Philip Lindsay were the Colts leading rushers and Bobby Okereke was the team’s leading rusher. None of those guys are still with the Colts.


  • A Wednesday injury report (which won’t include Jonathan Taylor because he’s not on the 53-man roster yet) will have a walk-through designation on it. But OT-Bernhard Raimann, C-Ryan Kelly and DE-Kwity Paye all remain in the concussion protocol. The trench depth of the Colts could be tested again this week.

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