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INDIANAPOLIS – In 2017, Chester Rogers was the darling of the offseason.
Pegged to be a potential breakout player in his second NFL season, Rogers suffered an August hamstring injury which halted any opportunity to push for early playing time.
Rogers missed the first 5 games of last season. He finished 2017 with just 1 game of more than 40 receiving yards.
With the calendar now turning to 2018, and new faces all over the coaching staff, the constant of Rogers impressing during the offseason is once again there.
Such chatter first began back during February’s Combine, from GM Chris Ballard.
“We have Chester, who we thought was nicked up last year but we think he has a chance to really ascend,” Ballard pointed out when asked about his unproven wideout group.
“He’s done a great job this offseason working on his body.”
Listed at 6-0 and 184 pounds, Rogers heard from Ballard on wanting the receiver to trim body fat this offseason.
“I’m down to like eight percent now,” Rogers, who admits his playing weight dipped to around 178 last year, says. “I’ve been doing Pilates. I’ve been doing just different things, because I know what my problem is as far as tissue injuries and just doing stuff to prevent that. There are a lot of things you can do, so I feel like I’m headed in the right direction as far as that.”
This new coaching staff has taken notice of a more fit Rogers, with offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni pointing out the flashes shown by the 2016 undrafted free agent out of Grambling.
Rogers himself has been vocal this offseason in expressing how happy he is to be in a new offense.
“We are not handicapped in this offense,” Rogers says. “I feel like it’s going to bring the best out of all of us and get us to our potential. No knock on the last offense, but I feel like this offense is really going to do us good. It’s diverse. It’s putting players into positions and doing what they are good at. They are using everybody (to their strengths).”
Rogers believes this offense will allow players, not just T.Y. Hilton, to be able to make plays—something this offense has sorely lacked in recent seasons.
Right now, newcomer Ryan Grant and Rogers are the ones playing in the Colts’ 3 wideout looks with Hilton. Rookies Reece Fountain and Deon Cain offer little bit bigger options behind the veterans.
Rogers and Hilton are the only Colts’ wideouts ever to catch a pass from Andrew Luck.
And Rogers is looking forward to doing that again this fall.
“Last year was a complete roller coaster emotionally, physically, being in position to be the starter and getting injured and just battling for those 8 weeks,” Rogers says.
“It was a roller coaster, but now I feel like I’m more prepared. I’m healthy. I’ve done changes in my diet and just how I’m preparing for the game to get my body right to prevent all those knick-knack injuries, so I just feel completely better.”
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