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INDIANAPOLIS – A packed house at Grand Park on Saturday afternoon was eager to see the Colts’ first full-padded practice of camp.
What they saw was a depleted offense missing 4 key starters and the defense taking advantage of that attrition.
Here are some tidbits from Saturday’s third practice of Training Camp:
- Andrew Luck did not take part in Saturday’s practice. After doing individual drills on Thursday, and then progressing to 7-on-7 work on Friday, Luck was held out for ‘maintenance’ reasons on Saturday. Clearly, Luck and the Colts are taking extreme caution to another level with his calf strain. Last year at camp, the Colts built Luck’s schedule around throwing during the full-padded sessions. But on Saturday, Luck didn’t even practice in full pads, after participating in some capacity the first two days.
- Luck joined T.Y. Hilton (rest), Jack Doyle (rest) and Anthony Castonzo (rest) on the sideline for Saturday’s practice and the defense wasted little time pouncing on the opportunity. The first 11-on-11 session in full pads saw a combo rush from Denico Autry lead to a Justin Houston sack. That came after a Kenny Moore deflection fell into George Odum’s arms for an INT. Autry lived in the backfield on Saturday, including some impressive wins over Quenton Nelson. It was a strong effort from the defense, even though Jabaal Sheard (knee) and Margus Hunt (rest) were sidelined.
- Speaking of Sheard (knee), he is an injury to watch moving into next week. Jim Irsay spoke at Saturday’s practice (and said a lot) and gave the indication that Sheard could miss some time, but the knee injury isn’t season-threatening. Here is what Irsay said, ““We’ve had one situation that popped up…I’ll let Coach address it. I know he’s going to be fine and play this season and all that sort of thing. It’s certainly not a season-ending injury or anything like that.” For what it’s worth, Sheard hasn’t been at the last two practices, while the other injured guys have been watching in person. Hopefully, we will get more about Sheard’s status when Frank Reich meets the media on Sunday. Reich said Sheard was getting his knee evaluated after missing Friday’s practice. One note on Sheard: He practiced on Thursday, so that removes him from having the chance to open the season on the physically unable to perform list, if this knee injury is that severe.
- Rookie Parris Campbell struggled as a punt returner on Saturday. Campbell misplaced two punts from Rigoberto Sanchez and looked like a guy who didn’t return punts in college. If this continues, it shouldn’t impact Campbell’s role offensively in 2019. But if Campbell isn’t a punt returner as a rookie, that means a guy like Chester Rogers is going to be on this 53-man roster, in all likelihood. Nyheim Hines and Zach Pascal were also returning punts on Saturday.
- The full pads brought out some spirited 1-on-1 sessions in passing drills. Rookie Khari Willis made a terrific interception in defending tight end Billy Brown. Want to see some highlights from 1-on-1 drills in full pads from Saturday? Head to my Instagram story for those clips.
- With Anthony Castonzo out on Saturday, it was Le’Raven Clark at left tackle with the starting offense. On the first two days of camp, the Colts had been working Antonio Garcia as the second-string left tackle, but he’s suspended for the first 4 games of the regular season.
- We noted the injuries above, so the starting lineups had some changes on Saturday: Le’Raven Clark for Anthony Castonzo, Zach Pascal for T.Y. Hilton, Jacoby Brissett for Andrew Luck, Mo Alie-Cox for Jack Doyle, Grover Stewart for Margus Hunt and Al-Quadin Muhammad for Jabaal Sheard. Also, on Saturday, we saw Nate Hairston getting a look as an outside corner, in the starting nickel group, alongside Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore.
- The wideouts were very sloppy in the catch department on Saturday. In individual drills, 1-on-1 sessions and team drills, you had various drops from Reece Fountain, Devin Funchess, Deon Cain, Zach Pascal, Reece Fountain and Marcus Johnson. Now, Cain bounced back with a couple of catches in 11-on-11 work. But it was an inconsistent day for the wideouts, with their star (Hilton) watching.
- Couple of random notes from Saturday: Steve Ishmael had a great grab on an underthrown ball and Jonathan Williams broke through the line for a couple of notable gains.
- You have to like this quote from Eric Ebron about taking the next step in his game, in a contract year: “I’ve really been working on my blocking. I have had a talk with the coaches and I’ve really tried to emphasize that because I do want to be on the field more with Jack (Doyle) and I want to help him out. I feel like if I’m able to step up my blocking game then I’ll be a better asset to the team because there are a lot of schemes and stuff that I want to be implemented in and that’s only going to work if I improve myself.”
- Saturday was the 24th birthday for Darius Leonard. The Colts don’t have a single linebacker on their roster older than 24, with 6 Chris Ballard draft picks in that group.
- Here were the Colts who did not practice on Saturday: RB-Spencer Ware (muscle injury with a boot on his right foot/leg, on PUP list for 1-2 weeks), DT-Margus Hunt (rest), DE-Jabaal Sheard (sore knee), QB-Andrew Luck (calf), DE-Kemoko Turay (shoulder), LT-Anthony Castonzo (rest), WR-T.Y. Hilton (rest), TE-Jack Doyle (rest) and WR-Penny Hart (rest).
- The Colts will have one more afternoon practice on Sunday, before their first off day on Monday. The plan is for the first full-padded practice to take place on Saturday afternoon.
REMAINING COLTS CAMP SCHEDULE
Sunday, July 28: Practice from 2:00-4:15 PM
Monday, July 29: Off day
Tuesday, July 30: Practice from 9:00-11:00 AM
Wednesday, July 31: Practice from 9:00-11:15 AM
Thursday, August 1: Practice from 9:00-11:15 AM
Friday, August 2: Off day
Saturday, August 3: Practice from 2:00-4:00 PM
Sunday, August 4: Practice from 2:00-4:15 PM
Monday, August 5: Practice from 2:00-3:40 PM
Tuesday, August 6: Practice from 2:00-4:15 PM
Wednesday, August 7: Off day
Thursday, August 8: Preseason game at Buffalo
Friday, August 9: Off day
Saturday, August 10: Practice from 9:00-10:40 AM
Sunday, August 11: Practice from 9:00-11:15 AM
Monday, August 12: Practice from 9:00-11:15 AM
Tuesday, August 13: Off day
Wednesday, August 14: Joint practices with Browns from 4:00-6:10 PM
Thursday, August 15: Joint practices with Browns from 4:00-6:00 PM
Friday, August 16: Break camp
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Trackside with Curt Cavin & Kevin Lee