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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s back to the Eastern Time Zone for the Indianapolis Colts.
And that means returning to Grand Park for 7 remaining practices in the 2018 Training Camp.
After Thursday’s preseason opener, what are the things to watch in the final week in Westfield?
-Andrew Luck Continues Week 1 Prep: Luck has film to evaluate of himself for the first time in more than 19 months. You know Luck has dissected all of those snaps and has a plan laid out for the remainder of time in Westfield. With the schedule having an off day coming Wednesday, Luck is expected to throw in every practice left of camp. That works out great for Luck and the Colts as the clock to Week 1 is about 4 weeks away. Will Luck make strides in continuing to throw the ball down the field and clean up timing issues with the skill guys he hasn’t played with before?
-Malik Hooker, Clayton Geathers Start Fully Practicing: We should see both of these young safeties participating in team drills pretty soon. Geathers actually was in two 11-on-11 sessions during Tuesday’s practice. For Hooker, he is now 9 months removed from ACL surgery, which was an important date for the Colts to reach before letting their promising young safety fully loose. The Colts would like for Hooker to play in Week 3 of the preseason (Aug. 25 vs. San Francisco). It’s important for Geathers and Hooker to get some work together after the starting safety duo has missed so much time in the last year and change.
-Position Battles To Watch: The Colts still have several position battles to solve. On offense, you need to solidify running back reps with an injured group, the depth at receiver with Deon Cain lost for 2018 and if Austin Howard is the definite right tackle (he didn’t start on Thursday). On defense, you need to find a starter opposite Jabaal Sheard, see if Anthony Walker can get back to health and earn his starting job at the MIKE linebacker spot and then figure out the cornerback pecking order
-Left Tackle Depth: Even if Anthony Castonzo is fully ready for Week One, the Colts still need to figure out options behind the reliable left tackle. Could Denzelle Good be that guy as he returns to health? Should left tackle be added to the many jobs of Joe Haeg as a key reserve? Is J’Marcus Webb back to being a guy who has started more than 40 games in the NFL? Haeg and Webb gave up sacks on Thursday night in 1-on-1 matchups.
-Ravens Come To Town: The highlight of camp comes in the final two days with the Baltimore Ravens invading Grand Park. The Ravens and Colts will have joint practices next Friday and Saturday, leading into their preseason matchup on Monday, Aug. 20 at Lucas Oil Stadium. This will be a welcomed barometer with the competition always picking up when another team is practicing against you.