INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts headed indoors on Wednesday for the first time during their training camp at Grand Park.
With projected rain in the forecast, the Colts decided to move practice indoors with an announcement on Tuesday night, while skies ended up being clear on Wednesday morning.
Here are some takeaways from Wednesday’s light, 60-minute session inside:
- The biggest negative from Wednesday came with an injury to rookie Kwity Paye (right ankle). Paye went down in the first 11-on-11 session of camp, immediately grabbing at this lower right leg. After a few minutes on the ground, Paye walked off the field gingerly, with his right shoe off. With Frank Reich not scheduled to meet the media on Wednesday, there was no update on the severity of Paye’s injury. When Paye went down, Tyquan Lewis immediately went down on a knee right next to Paye. With the chatter in the indoor facility dropping to library quiet, the Colts moved the drill about 20 yards down field and continued to practice, with Paye eventually walking off.
- Sam Ehlinger got the first period of starting work on Wednesday. He went 1-of-4 (0-for-1 with the starters). Ehlinger was picked by Darius Leonard, on a play where the rookie was nowhere near his normal decisive self. This was also the play that Paye went down on. Ehlinger followed with a 1-of-3 session with the second team. He did throw a nice corner ball to tight end Jordan Thomas for a TD.
- Jacob Eason took the other starting period, following Ehlinger. Eason went 2-of-4 (1-of-2 with the starters). He was picked off by Bobby Okereke. Eason tried to rocket a ball to Michael Pittman in the red zone. The ball by Eason was thrown slightly behind Michael Pittman, with the ball ricocheting off of No. 11, who was stretching back for the catch. The deflection ended up in the hands for Okereke.
- Another day, another bit of news for the Colts. On Wednesday morning, the Colts announced contract extensions through the 2026 season for both Chris Ballard and Frank Reich. “In Chris Ballard and Frank Reich, we have as great a general manager – head coach combination as there is in the NFL, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have them leading our franchise,” Irsay said in a statement. “I truly believe this football team is on the doorstep of great things, and that’s because of the culture both have cultivated in their time with the Horseshoe. Whether we are marching toward the playoffs or facing adversity, whether we are building our roster or making a difference in the community, we have the ideal leaders in Chris and Frank.” Wednesday’s news wasn’t needed to know Irsay’s unequivocal belief in his GM and head coach. The expectation though with these extensions has to be results expected at an increased level. This franchise is used to winning division titles and making consistent playoff runs, not going on a 6-year division drought and 1 playoff win in that span. Ballard and Reich aren’t getting these massive extensions due to ‘elite’ results. They are getting them because Irsay believes fully in their pairing moving forward and has accepted a very prudent approach to building. Ballard and Reich align on so much, and that’s vital for building a franchise contender. Now it’s time to see that turn into annual results.
- ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Wednesday that Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson are on track to play in Week 1. That would be just over the 5-week mark of the original 5-to-12 week timetable for those two. Is it good news to see Wentz and Nelson watching practice without a boot or limp? Definitely. But even the Colts don’t know for sure on either player until those guys start to hit the field and actually test things with ramped up activity in about a week or so. It’s premature to say that either player will definitely be ready for the season opener on September 12th. But the Colts like where both guys are at a little more than a week removed from surgery.
- Both Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson were watching practice in-person for a second straight day.
- In your daily ‘Mike Strachan red zone highlight’ the rookie capped Wednesday’s practice with a one-handed TD grab. With blanket coverage on Strachan, the 7th round pick hauled in a throw by Brett Hundley for the impressive snag. It should surprise no one if the Colts feel that Strachan is comfortable enough to handle some red-zone role early in his rookie campaign.
- With Mark Glowinski resting on Wednesday, the Colts were down all 5 offensive starters. The starting unit up front on Wednesday was as followed: Julie’n Davenport, Chris Reed, Danny Pinter, Will Fries, Will Holden. It was Davenport’s second straight practice working with the starters.
- Young linebacker E.J. Speed continues to shine this camp. Speed says he’s gained about 10 pounds in transitioning from a high school quarterback, college wideout (for his first two seasons) to an NFL linebacker (Speed played linebacker for two years at Tarleton State), thanks to ‘eating better.’ Matt Eberflus has been very pleased with Speed’s growth this camp.
- Marcus Brady has been really pleased with the second-year progression from Jonathan Taylor. “We were just talking about one of the runs he made in practice (today), it’s his vision and quickness of seeing that and setting up blocks and then how he’s able to explode through the hole because he uses that vision of how the offensive line is going to block at the next level. He just sees it that much quicker and you can tell he’s playing faster.”
- What does Brady want to see from his young quarterbacks Thursday and Friday, with Eason and Ehlinger seeing an opposing team for the first time in their NFL careers? “Just trust what they’ve been doing in practice. Trust their reads. Obviously, we are going to semi-game plan. Trust their progressions, what they see with their eyes and play football.”
- Brady added that the Colts are still sifting through playing time for Sunday’s preseason game. But look for Jacob Eason to play around a quarter/quarter plus, and then Sam Ehlinger to come in for him there. The Colts will finalize those plans in the coming days.
- It’s been promising to see Parris Campbell and Kemoko Turay both healthy and consistently available throughout camp. Toss in Marlon Mack, too. That’s been really important to see all those guys healthy and going full speed.
- Guys that stood out at Wednesday’s practice: CB-T.J. Carrie, WR-Mike Strachan, DE-Kameron Cline, LB-Darius Leonard, LB-Bobby Okereke.
- Just a reminder, the initial roster cut comes next Tuesday. That’s from 90 guys to 85, with 5 more being cut the following Tuesday (August 24th) and then the big one down to 53 (August 31st).
- The Colts will have joint practices against the Carolina Panthers coming Thursday and Friday, with both sessions starting at 4:00.
Injury Report: The following players did not appear to be participating at Wednesday’s practice: LB-Darius Leonard (ankle), C-Ryan Kelly (elbow), QB-Carson Wentz (foot), DT-Taylor Stallworth (hamstring), LG-Quenton Nelson (foot), LB-Jordan Glasgow (back), TE-Mo Alie-Cox (knee), TE-Noah Togiai, LB-Skai Moore, WR-Ashton Dulin, S-Julian Blackmon (knee), OT-Braden Smith (foot), DT-DeForest Buckner (foot), TE-Jack Doyle (rest), WR-T.Y. Hilton (rest).
Weekly Camp Schedule
-Thursday: 4:00-6:00 Joint practice with Panthers
-Friday: 4:00-6:00 Joint practice with Panthers
-Saturday: Off day
-Sunday: Preseason game vs. Panthers (1:00 PM)
-Monday: Off day
-Tuesday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Wednesday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Thursday: 10:00-11:30 Practice