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INDIANAPOLISThe Colts returned to Grand Park on Tuesday afternoon and had a 70-minute session without full pads.

It was an expected lighter day, before the Detroit Lions come to Grand Park for joint sessions this Wednesday and Thursday.

Here is what was learned at Tuesday’s 11th practice of camp:

  • Matt Ryan finished Tuesday afternoon 7-of-9 with completions to the following guys: Michael Pittman (3), Jonathan Taylor (2), Kylen Granson (1), Nyheim Hines (1). While Ryan had an efficient day, he will want one throw back. On a beautiful play-action, Ryan had Kylen Granson wide open, a solid 10-to-15 yards behind Nick Cross as the nearest defender. But an underthrow from Ryan, into a bit of a wind, allowed for Cross to catch up in time for the pass deflection. While the Colts passing offense has produced some chunk plays in the full teamwork, we’ve yet to see really any deep completions through the air. Is this part of the offense something we won’t get a true idea of until you see the Jonathan Taylor effect on game days? Or is there more to how Ryan and the passing game will operate? Through 11 practices, Ryan is 91-of-134 in the full teamwork. Ryan’s completed his passes to the following guys: Michael Pittman (27), Kylen Granson (13), Jonathan Taylor (11), Nyheim Hines (10), Mo Alie-Cox (10), Parris Campbell (8), Alec Pierce (4), Drew Ogletree (3), Ashton Dulin (3), Dezmon Patmon (1), Keke Coutee (1).

 

  • The Colts started their cut down to 53 on Tuesday. The NFL mandated rosters trim from 90 guys to 85 on Tuesday afternoon (another 5-man cut to 80 is due next Tuesday, with the final cut to 53 players coming on August 30th). The Colts waived the following players on Tuesday: WR-Isaiah Ford, WR-Michael Young, OT-Brandon Kemp, CB-Alexander Myres. With DB-Marcel Dabo counting as an international exemption player this year, the Colts can carry 86 guys right now. Ford is easily the most notable name on the Tuesday cuts list for Indy. While Ford was signed just a few weeks back, his 32 games of experience was the most of any other receiver on the Colts roster (Michael Pittman has played in 30 career games). Ford’s 63 career receptions were the third most on the roster, behind Pittman and Keke Coutee. It’s a reminder of how unproven this receiver room is in 2022.

 

  • Mike Strachan made his 2022 training camp debut on Tuesday. A torn meniscus back in late May led to a knee scope for Strachan and his near 3-month absence. Strachan was pretty active on Tuesday, taking part in all the positional/team activities, catching a couple of balls from Nick Foles in 11-on-11, second-team, work. Strachan said after practice that he has “no restrictions” moving forward. The return of Strachan comes at a time where the wide receiver depth chart is anything but settled. Of course, as Strachan knows, he must not only regain the trust of a coaching staff and new quarterback Matt Ryan, but needs to show he can have a special teams role if he’s going to earn a roster spot. With final roster cuts in two weeks, Strachan has 5 more practices and 2 preseason games to try and prove himself.

 

  • The camp matchup between Michael Pittman and Stephon Gilmore has offered some great daily theatre. Both had their fair share of wins on Tuesday. A peek into what was seen on Tuesday: On one 7-on-7 snap, heavy zone attention around Pittman led to a Matt Ryan attempt being tipped into the air by Kenny Moore, with a diving Julian Blackmon coming down with the interception. On the very next step, it was Ryan and Pittman getting a win, on a gorgeous pump and go where Gilmore bit too hard on the fake.

 

  • While it was a tad hard to see the exact kicking session on Tuesday, it appeared that Jake Verity had a couple of misses, compared to Rodrigo Blankenship putting together another steady day. Again, Verity’s missed extra point on Saturday was crippling to his fading placekicking chances.

 

  • So that left tackle and right guard battle entering camp never took place. We are 11 practices into Grand Park and LT-Matt Pryor and RG-Danny Pinter have been with the starters for every single 11-on-11 rep. Sometimes when teams return from their first preseason game and get into the back half of camp, you see tweaks to such battles. But the Colts have been steadfast in rolling with Pryor and Pinter. Strong safety is easily the most up in the air starting battle left, with Nick Cross and Rodney McLeod continually flip flopping.

 

  • Take a look at those receiving numbers from above in camp. There’s a reason why I put Michael Pittman on top of my most indispensable Colts this season. Pittman has doubled the amount of catches for any other Colt this camp. And he’s the only wideout currently in the top 5 of the receptions list from Matt Ryan. For many reasons, the Colts cannot afford to lose Pittman this season. It’s going to be interesting to see how opposing teams treat Pittman in the passing game.

 

  • With Mike Strachan coming off the physically unable to perform list, LB-Shaquille Leonard (ankle/back) is the only Colts player to have yet to practice at Grand Park. Now, with 5 practices left in camp, it’s quite possible we don’t see Leonard hit the practice field in Westfield. If that’s the case, Leonard will have two full weeks of work back at the team facility to try and get ready for the September 11th season opener.

 

  • Here is how the starting offense looked on Tuesday: QB-Matt Ryan, RB-Jonathan Taylor, WR-Alec Pierce, WR-Michael Pittman, WR-Parris Campbell, TE-Mo Alie-Cox, LT-Matt Pryor, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Danny Pinter, RT-Braden Smith.

 

  • Here is how the starting defense looked on Tuesday: DE-Yannick Ngakoue, DT-Grover Stewart, DT-DeForest Buckner, DE-Kwity Paye, LB-Zaire Franklin, LB-Bobby Okereke, CB-Kenny Moore, CB-Stephon Gilmore, S-Julian Blackmon, S-Rodney McLeod.

 

  • Guys that stood out at Tuesday’s practice for a variety of reasons: WR-DeMichael Harris, DL-Dayo Odeyingbo, QB-Sam Ehlinger, WR-Michael Pittman, CB-Kenny Moore, DT-Grover Stewart

 

 

Injury Report: The following players remain on the PUP or non-football injury list: LB-Shaquille Leonard (back/ankle). The following players also did not practice on Tuesday: DT-Chris Williams (left foot), OT-Dennis Kelly (knee), WR-Keke Coutee (groin), CB-Isaiah Rodgers (concussion), CB-Anthony Chelsey (undisclosed).

 

 

Weekly Camp Schedule

-Wednesday: 12:00 – 1:55 Joint practice with Lions

-Thursday: 12:00 – 1:35 Joint practice with Lions

-Friday: Off day

-Saturday: Preseason home opener 1:00 vs. Lions

-Sunday: Off day

-Monday: Off day

-Tuesday: 12:00 – 1:45 Practice

-Wednesday: 12:00 – 1:45 Practice

-Thursday: 10:00 – 11:20 Final camp practice