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INDIANAPOLIS – Summer vacation is here for the 2018 Indianapolis Colts.
It was a quiet Thursday practice to conclude the three-day minicamp.
However, we did get several updates from Frank Reich after practice.
Here are the takeaways from the final day of the offseason program:
- Andrew Luck took a rest day on Thursday. That was expected. Frank Reich made it very clear after practice that the team needs for Luck to get together with receivers during this 6-week break. That rapport must be built/re-built for Luck, especially with some new players.
- Reich also detailed the throwing progression for Luck that is now here: 1. Throwing stationary, with minimal movement. 2. Some movement throws. 3. Throwing to spots with stationary receivers. 4. Making competitive throws, to receivers who are running full speed. “He certainly would need to work to get that in before we return (for camp),” Reich says of Luck throwing to receivers over the next month and a half.
- An update on injured linebacker Anthony Walker. The second-year linebacker is in the concussion protocol after some incidental contact at Wednesday’s practice. Walker, who has been a starter this spring, observed Thursday’s practice from the sideline.
- Reich said the Colts are likely to have 2-to-3 live tackling periods during camp. That means full tackling, to the ground, as the Colts try to evaluate a defense without much proven talent.
- The tight end depth is something that has stood out to Reich this spring. Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron are atop the depth chart there. And Ross Travis has had a nice spring as well, with Erik Swoope missing the entire offseason program due to injury (see below).
- Those rare instincts from Quenton Nelson have been observed by Frank Reich this spring. Yes, Nelson has also had a few ‘welcome to the NFL’ moments in terms of the strength up front. Of course, the truer offensive line evaluation will come once the full pads are donned a few days into camp.
- Yes, the Colts have several questions still remaining in 2018. But Frank Reich is assertive in saying the Colts will surprise people. “I feel very confident that we have the pieces here to challenge week in and week out and do a lot of good things,” Reich said after the team’s offseason program ended.
- Reich and Najee Goode (a linebacker with the Eagles last year) are heading back to Philadelphia Thursday night for a Super Bowl ring ceremony. “I know it’s going to give me a taste of what we want here,” Reich said.
Let’s move on to injuries. Frank Reich said earlier this week that he feels pretty good that the Colts will be full-go, injury wise, come late July, with the preseason opener just 2 weeks after practice starts at camp.
But some key guys still missed ample time in the spring.
So let’s recap some of the injury situations the Colts had this spring:
OL-Deyshawn Bond: The local product missed all the spring as he recovers from a season-ending injury last October. Bond figures to be competing for a reserve spot in the interior.
LT-Anthony Castonzo: Castonzo was in and out of the lineup this spring. It’s unusual to see the durable lineman miss any practice time. However, Castonzo should be good to go for camp.
S-Clayton Geathers: It’s unclear if the neck injury Geathers had this time last year was what kept him off the field this spring. Geathers played 5 of the final 6 games last season, but still missed all of the offseason program. Frank Reich said on Thursday that he’s optimistic Geathers will be ready to go for camp.
WR-T.Y. Hilton: It doesn’t appear to be anything serious with Hilton, but the team’s No. 1 playmaker missed the final two days of minicamp.
RB-Nyheim Hines: The versatile rookie had a very nice spring. However, he did get banged up this past Tuesday and missed the final 2 days of minicamp. The injury isn’t expected to be serious for Hines.
S-Malik Hooker: The ACL tear from last October had Hooker obviously sidelined for the entire spring. Hooker has done some field work in his rehab. His availability to be 100 percent for Week 1 (Sept. 9) could be in question depending on what Hooker is able to do in August.
LB-Darius Leonard: It was not an ideal first month and a half for Leonard on the field. He hasn’t practiced yet in the NFL and that’s tough for a guy making the jump from South Carolina State to possibly starting as a rookie. Leonard injured his hamstring during the draft process.
DL-Tyquan Lewis: The versatile defensive lineman missed the latter portion of the spring. If healthy, Lewis is in the mix for playing time as a rookie.
QB-Andrew Luck: Really? Yes, we know that Luck has been banged up. The expectation is for Luck to be ready to practice, in team settings, when camp begins in 6 weeks. It will be his first full work in team drills since December 2016.
RB-Marlon Mack: Off-season shoulder surgery kept Mack off the field all spring. He’s expected to be ready to go for camp, as he could very well be the starter among a running back by committee sort of group.
WR-Chester Rogers: On the final OTA session of the spring last week, Rogers got nicked up on an attempted catch near the sideline. He missed this week’s minicamp. Rogers figures to be pretty solidly in the No. 2 or 3 wide receiver role going into camp.
TE-Erik Swoope: In what is a massive offseason for Swoope, the young tight end wasn’t on the field this spring. Swoope is in a thick battle for a roster spot as the Colts have a pretty deep group at tight end. Swoope just hasn’t been healthy to prove himself under this new regime.
DE-Kemoko Turay: Like Lewis, Turay missed some time this spring. But the pass rusher was out there a decent amount and needs to be healthy for camp when the pads come on and the truer evaluations begin in the trenchdes.
OG-Jeremy Vujnovich: This man played every snap at left guard last season for the Colts. But he was sidelined all of spring and is going to be in a fight just to make the team after the offensive line reinforcements added this offseason.
LB-Anthony Walker: Walker was carted off the field on Wednesday with a concussion. It was incidental contact that caused Walker to go down. Walker received a ton of starting reps this spring.
CB-Quincy Wilson: An expected starter in 2018, Wilson was limited early in spring and OTAs. He saw some more action on the field as of late and even received those starting reps. A healthy Wilson is paramount for the Colts in 2018.