INDIANAPOLIS – Report day for the Colts 2022 Training Camp has come and gone without the major news breaker that has occurred in recent years.
Among the player news of note on Tuesday, Darius Leonard sounds like he wants to go by his middle name “Shaquille,” Kenny Moore II plans to practice and Kwity Paye has corrected a vision issue that he thinks hindered him last season.
Chris Ballard did have a few interesting notes in his annual report day presser from Grand Park.
Here is a notebook run-down of some items to note from Ballard and the Colts on Tuesday:
- Let’s start with the juicy names of T.Y. Hilton and Julio Jones and if the Colts have interest in either. The Colts are still discussing the idea of bringing in a veteran wideout. Hilton’s name has come up in those discussions. But Jones has not, according to Ballard. On Tuesday, Ballard reiterated that he “doesn’t see the desperation” in the Colts wideout group as some others do. This will continue to be a position group getting a ton of attention from those inside, and outside, the building.
- So, before we get to the uncertain return date for Darius Leonard on the football field, we do know he would like for people to refer to him by a new first name. Whether it’s ‘Shaquille,’ ‘D,’ or ‘Maniac,’ Leonard says those close to him have tended to call him by his middle name (Shaq or Shaquille). The 5th year pro added that early in his NFL career he continued to go by Darius, his first name, not wanting to bring any extra attention to his early professional journey. We will settle on ‘Shaquille’ for No. 53. In the health department, Leonard isn’t putting a timetable on his return. He said that his June surgery came due to two discs in his lower back sitting on two nerves, which contributed to persistent ankle pain. When asked about any concern over being ready for Week 1, Leonard reiterated there’s no timetable. This is easily the biggest injury watch for the Colts to start camp, as Leonard will remain on the physically unable to perform list.
- Kenny Moore was present for report day on Tuesday, even taking part in some on-field activities with the Indy Eleven soccer team at Grand Park. When asked if Moore will practice on Tuesday, the corner said, “I’ll be ready to go.” Like he did in the spring, Moore didn’t talk much about the issues he has with his current contract situation. Chris Ballard said that the Colts and Moore are on the same page. “Everybody wants more,” Ballard said when asked about Moore’s contract issues.” But at some point, there comes a time to play.” Moore has two years left on a 4-year extension he signed with the Colts and Ballard during the 2019 offseason.
- Rocking some new glasses on Tuesday, Kwity Paye shared the reason behind the change in his look. Paye said it was discovered last year that he had vision problem in his left eye. Last year, Colts defensive line coach Brian Baker noticed Paye would get off the ball faster when the rookie defensive end lined up on the left side of the defensive line, versus the right side. Once Paye found out about his eye issue, he felt this contributed to a slower start off the right side (when his left eye was looking down towards the ball to read the snap). In 2022, with Yannick Ngakoue here, the expectation is Paye will be rushing much more often from the left side. Could this be a difference in him improving on his 4-sack total from last year?
- Here are some injury updates on the 5 Colts we know won’t practice on Wednesday: DL-Tyquan Lewis (knee): Ballard said Lewis is getting close and should be back soon. Lewis tore his patellar on Halloween of last year. S-Rodney McLeod (knee): Ballard said McLeod had a knee procedure earlier this offseason. Similar to Lewis, it sounds like McLeod could return soon. It’s expected McLeod is competing with rookie Nick Cross for the starting safety spot next to Julian Blackmon. LB-Shaquille Leonard (back/ankle): As we said above, the return for Leonard isn’t expected to be soon. “When he’s back, he’s back,” was the line Ballard gave on Leonard. WR-Mike Strachan (knee): Strachan had a knee procedure back during the offseason program. Ballard said the hope is Strachan can get on the field for some practice time at Grand Park (camp ends on August 25th). Obviously, this missed time for Strachan will hurt his ability to earn the coaching staff’s trust in Year Two. DT-Eric Johnson (knee): The rookie defensive tackle tweaked his back training on his own this summer. His absence is not expected to be too long into camp, according to Ballard.
- When asked Tuesday about position battles Ballard is watching, he listed the following: left tackle, interior defensive line depth, safety. Let’s throw a few more position battles on that list.
- Yes, my Colts training camp thought of the change in practice start time was in an effort to try an improve the team’s starts to regular seasons. Ballard said pushing practice back to Noon (on most days), compared to morning practices previously, can better replicate circadian rhythms for game times that occur mainly around 1:00 during the actual season. The Colts will have their training camp walk-throughs in the mornings, have the sun getting into player’s eyes early on, before practice typically commences around Noon. This was a suggestion from long-time NFL strength coach Rusty Jones, who Ballard brought in a few years back. As a reminder, the Colts have lost 8 straight season openers.
- Ballard would not address any update on a contract extension for Quenton Nelson, other than that the Colts want to keep Big Q here long term. Nelson is entering the 5th and final year of his rookie contract.
Colts Camp Schedule
-Wednesday: 12:00 – 1:20 PM
-Thursday: 12:00 – 1:30 PM
-Saturday: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
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