INDIANAPOLIS – The temperature rose on Wednesday at Grand Park with the Colts back in full pads.
Sam Ehlinger returned to practice on Wednesday, taking the majority of starting reps.
Here are some takeaways from the Colts back in full pads at Grand Park:
- Sam Ehlinger ran the first team for 4 of the 5 team periods on Wednesday. He went 12-of-20 (10-of-16 with the starters), completing passes to Jack Doyle-3x, Jordan Wilkins-2x, Jonathan Taylor-2x, Michael Pittman, Dezmon Patmon, DeMichael Harris, Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox. The Ehlinger-led offense had struggles with false starts, clean snaps and it just looked like a unit not on the same page—which is something we haven’t seen this camp. Individually, Ehlinger had a couple of airmails and his roughest day finding the open receiver/throwing the football. It was the first day I really noticed Ehilnger’s lack of height (6-1) show up. Was Ehlinger still under the weather on Wednesday? He didn’t do his normal media duties after practice, so that’s something to note. But it wasn’t the normal crispy, consistent Ehlinger like we’ve seen in Westfield.
- With Ehilnger making up for some of the extra starting work that Jacob Eason got on Tuesday, No. 9 had just one starting period on Wednesday (going 4-of-4). Eason finished the day 7-of-9, throwing just one pass in each of the last two team periods. Eason completed passes to Kylen Granson-2x, Jordan Thomas-2x, DeMichael Harris, Jordan Wilkins and Marlon Mack. Eason did have a rough 7-on-7 session. Still, he threw the ball well in 11-on-11, with Mike Strachan unable to come down with a terrific deep ball attempt from Eason. Again, ever since Ehlinger started taking first-team reps, Eason’s play has risen.
- Speaking of Eason, the ghost of Philip Rivers is still alive and well in his preparation. Eason said the actually dialed up some Rivers film the other night to see how the future Hall of Famer handled pass protections.
- The return of Kwity Paye (ankle) happened on Tuesday, but you felt his presence on Wednesday. Paye had at least 1-2 sacks, and several other strong pressures that would have impacted the quarterback. He looked back to the guy we saw early in camp. Of course, this is coming against the Colts struggling tackles. That’s why seeing Paye against another team, and with the Vikings planning to play their frontline guys, is going to be so valuable come Saturday.
- Frank Reich is planning to play ‘most’ of his starters on Saturday against the Vikings. In a perfect world, Reich said the Colts would have a starting quarterback known following next Friday’s preseason finale against the Lions (August 27th). Reich expects to play Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger and Brett Hundley in each of the final two preseason games. If the Colts continue on their plan, it will be Ehlinger starting and playing about a half before being relieved by Eason.
- The full pads were back on Wednesday and you heard a thump early on when Darius Leonard flattened Jonathan Taylor on a blitz pick-up. That’s not something you typically see. In general, I thought the defense had the upper hand over the offense on Wednesday.
- The revolving door at left tackle has settled upon Julie’n Davenport as of late. Davenport, who missed the start of camp on the COVID-list, has 28 career starts.
- I’ve made this mistake before, but don’t take for granted Jordan Wilkins. While the run game had some struggles on Wednesday, Wilkins did rip off a couple of nice runs. I think he is definitely on the 53-man roster.
- In case you missed our interview with Frank Reich on The Fan Morning Show, you can find that here with updates on Eric Fisher, more on the Carson Wentz timetable and the head coach’s thoughts on Mike Strachan. Just a reminder from what Reich said on Wednesday, Wentz has yet to ‘push it’ physically in his rehab, with that hurdle likely coming later in August. He is starting to take some reps in walk-through.
- Guys that stood out at Wednesday’s practice: RB-Jordan Wilkins, CB-Rock Ya-Sin, LB-Darius Leonard.
- Just a reminder, another roster cut comes next Tuesday. That’s from 85 guys to 80, with 5 more being cut the following Tuesday (August 24th) and then the big one down to 53 (August 31st).
- The Colts will have one more morning practice again on Thursday, before their second preseason game against the Vikings on Saturday. The Colts have just 4 practices remaining in their 2021 training camp.
Injury Report: The following players did not appear to be participating at Wednesday’s practice: C-Ryan Kelly (elbow), QB-Carson Wentz (foot), DT-Taylor Stallworth (hamstring), LG-Quenton Nelson (foot), LB-Jordan Glasgow (back), TE-Noah Togiai, C-Danny Pinter (foot, in a boot), LB-E.J. Speed (knee), DL-Tyquan Lewis (shoulder), DE-Kemoko Turay, LB-Malike Jefferson, RB-Nyheim Hines.
Weekly Camp Schedule
-Thursday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Friday: Off day
-Saturday: Preseason game at Vikings (8:00 PM)
-Sunday: Off day
-Monday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Tuesday: 10:00-11:30 Practice
-Wednesday: 10:00-11:30 Practice (final practice of camp)