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INDIANAPOLIS Wednesday saw the Colts return to the practice field for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Preparations for the Colts (4-2) taking on the Lions (3-3) this Sunday afternoon are underway, with the Colts also getting a couple of key names back to practice on Wednesday.

What did we learn from the Colts at their first practice of the week?

  • Linebacker Darius Leonard (groin) returned to practice on Wednesday. This was Leonard’s first practice since he left the Chicago game on October 4th with his injured groin. Leonard’s return comes at a very important time, with some particularly dynamic and athletic quarterbacks coming up on the schedule.

 

 

  • The Colts will evaluate WR-Michael Pittman (leg) at practice this week and see where he’s at physically after missing 3 games, and then decide whether he can return this Sunday against the Lions. His return would be welcomed. We know Philip Rivers is a fan of throwing to bigger targets and Reich liked the way Pittman was blocking in the run game and bringing some toughness to the offense.

 

  • We’ve talked about the NFL trade deadline that is approaching on Tuesday. Frank Reich said on Wednesday that he has constant communication with Chris Ballard about the roster, possible acquisitions, etc. Reich said about “99.9 percent” of those conversations never lead to anything of substance, but it’s always a “healthy discussion.”

 

  • The Reich family group text was blowing up on Sunday night when Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf ran down Arizona’s Budda Baker to save the Seahawks 7 points. Reich was a fan of the incredible hustle and might show it to his team this Saturday, when the Colts go over certain situations on film with the team. “I love seeing those plays,” Reich said on Wednesday. “I’ve seen a couple really other great chase down plays. That was certainly up there in the same zip code as the really great ones.”

 

  • This past Sunday was a chance for Colts coaches and players to take in games like an average fan does on a weekly basis. For Frank Reich, he was watching games looking for two specific things. It was seeing how head coaches make decisions within a game and then seeing how play callers get a feel for flow. Reich said if he sees something unpredictable that he can connect with his own game plan, he’ll take it back into the office and see if it’ll work. “There’s no doubt I’m always looking to learn,” Reich said. “That’s kind of fun thing to do.”

 

  • Are recovering fumbles based a lot on luck? If so, the Colts are having pretty bad luck in that area. They are 1 of 3 teams (Jaguars, Raiders) in the NFL without a fumble recovery now two months into the season. The Colts have also only lost one fumble this season. Only 4 teams have lost fewer fumbles.

 

  • Like the Colts were in 2018, they continue to be very sound in pass protection. In allowing a sack on just 2.97 percent of pass attempts, the Colts lead the NFL in that category again this season. In 2018, with a much more mobile Andrew Luck at quarterback, the Colts led the league in allowing a sack on just 2.80 percent of pass attempts.

 

  • Tight end Mo Alie-Cox (knee) hasn’t practiced since injuring his knee against the Browns on October 11th. On Wednesday, Reich said Alie-Cox is ‘making good progress.’ Alie-Cox hasn’t gone on injured reserve, so you’d think his return should be soon. Remember, in 2020, IR guys have to miss at least 3 games.

 

  • The Colts will practice again on Thursday and Friday, with a 1:00 PM game this Sunday in Detroit. The Lions are not having any fans at their games currently.

 

Wednesday Injury Report

-DNP: TE-Mo Alie-Cox (knee), TE-Jack Doyle (not injury related), DL-Denico Autry (not injury related), S-Julian Blackmon (rest), TE-Trey Burton (rest), DE-Justin Houston (rest)

Bowen Analysis: Doyle actually went through warmups on Wednesday, but then left practice after some individual work. It looks like the Colts are keeping guys on their normal rest routines, even after the bye week.

-Limited: C-Ryan Kelly (knee), LB-Darius Leonard (groin)

Bowen Analysis: Kelly is a new name on this list.

-Full: OT-Chaz Green (back)

Bowen Analysis: Green, a reserve tackle, has missed time recently due to his back injury.