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NFL: AUG 16 Indianapolis Colts Training Camp

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INDIANAPOLIS The closest thing the Colts will get to real football in the spring took place on Wednesday.

And, unfortunately, you did see a notable player go down, even though the full pads aren’t coming until training camp.

Here are some takeaways from the Colts first open OTA session of 2024:

  • Fittingly, on the day he turned 22 years old, Anthony Richardson made his return to 11-on-11 action in front of the media. Again, this was the first time the media has seen Richardson in a practice/game setting since October. If you didn’t know anything, you would have no clue Richardson is returning from a right shoulder surgery. The motion looks perfectly normal. The velocity on his throws, distance on his throws, all of that, seems just fine. And Richardson even tossed in a flip while falling on a pad during the Colts ball security drill. From a throwing standpoint in team drills, Richardson was 4-of-6 in his pair of 11-on-11 periods. It was nothing too eye-popping down the field from Richardson in those team sessions. In 7-on-7 work, he did compete a really nice long ball down the sideline to Kylen Granson (which was quite the catch by Granson, too) when leaving the pocket. Richardson was also picked off by safety Daniel Scott, on a low ball that was behind tight end Mo Alie-Cox. Scott, a 5th round pick who tore his ACL last spring, is definitely someone the staff likes. Back to Richardson, the second-year quarterback says there are some days he feels “a little achy” but that’s part of his recovery. Unless soreness pops up, Richardson is expected to have no restrictions in his participation level this spring.


  • Easily the quietest moment from Wednesday’s open media session was when Michael Pittman Jr. went down following an incidental collision with cornerback Jaylon Jones. With Anthony Richardson scrambling to his right, the young QB tossed one towards the right sideline where a crowd of Colts pass catchers and defensive backs were. As Pittman went up to try and make the catch, Jones also leaped into the air to try and make a play, colliding with the team’s top wideout. In a rare occurrence, Pittman stayed down for a couple of minutes, as members of the athletic training staff, Chris Ballard and Shane Steichen all assessed the situation. Steichen said after practice that Pittman Jr. “banged knees” and that “he should be fine.” It goes without saying how indispensable Pittman is to this team and how he’s hardly ever missed time to practice. It’s late May though and training camp is still two months away, with the regular season opener three and a half months from now. Still, it’s never ideal to see a play like that, especially in the spring when you want your young QB to get as many valuable reps as possible with your top pass catchers. But, it appears a really bad situation was avoided.


  • From the look of it, cornerback reps behind Kenny Moore will be pretty open. Shane Steichen is a fan of his young cornerbacks and has been pleased with how that group has looked in these first two OTA sessions. Second-year corners Jaylon Jones and JuJu Brents got the initial looks with the starters on Wednesday, before Dallis Flowers rotated in as he returns from a torn Achilles.


  • One rookie highlight from Wednesday was one of the Colts draft picks getting the best of the oldest guy on the team. It was 5th round pick Jaylon Carlies flashing his impressive wingspan when Joe Flacco tried to fit a ball over the linebacker level of the defense. The interception certainly caught the eye of Shane. Steichen. “You can see his ability,” the head coach said of Carlies, who is making the switch from a college safety to NFL linebacker.


  • Nice afternoons for both Kylen Granson and Jelani Woods. It’s Woods who has even more attention on him this season after missing all of last year with lingering hamstring issues. Of course, it’s also a contract year for Granson.


  • As expected, it was Kwity Paye opposite Samson Ebukam to get things going with the starting defense on Wednesday. It wouldn’t be that shocking if this is how it played out to start the season, with rookie Laiatu Latu still playing an important role in a position group that subs a whole lot, especially on passing downs.


  • Some of the Colts who didn’t appear to be practicing on Wednesday included: WR-Ashton Dulin, OT-Braden Smith, LB-Liam Anderson, CB-Chris Lammons. For the spring though, that’s a pretty short list, compared to most years. If you are projecting out starters for 2024, the Colts looked to have 21 of their 22 guys in the lineup participating on Wednesday. Several Colts players returning from injuries last year were participating: RB-Evan Hull, TE-Jelani Woods, CB-Dallis Flowers, S-Daniel Scott, S-Julian Blackmon.


  • The main punt returners on Wednesday were Josh Down and Anthony Gould.


  • Steichen shared the Colts will have a pair of joint practice sessions in 2024, one at Grand Park and one in Cincinnati. They will host the Arizona Cardinals for two days (likely August 14-15) ahead of that second preseason game on August 17th at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts will then head down to Cincinnati for a joint practice with the Bengals (likely August 20th) ahead of that preseason finale in Cincy on August 22nd.


  • We will get access to one more OTA viewing next week, before watching the entire 3-day minicamp, on June 4-6, to close out the spring offseason.

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