INDIANAPOLIS – For a second straight day, the Colts are on injury watch.
Wednesday was the final outdoor practice at Grand Park for the Colts, as they will head indoors for Thursday’s final session.
Here is what was learned at Wednesday’s 15th practice of camp:
- Matt Ryan finished Wednesday afternoon 10-of-12 with completions to the following guys: Michael Pittman (5), Parris Campbell (3), TE-Kylen Granson (1), Jelani Woods (1). In another day of 1’s vs. 2’s, the Colts passing offense found continued efficiency. The highlight was Parris Campbell making a beautiful adjustment on a deep ball for a big gain. Like we’ve seen in the vast majority of non-full pads days, the Colts were sound in avoiding drops. Ryan’s completed his passes in camp to the following guys: Michael Pittman (44), Kylen Granson (15), Mo Alie-Cox (14), Jonathan Taylor (13), Parris Campbell (13), Nyheim Hines (10), Alec Pierce (6), Ashton Dulin (5), Drew Ogletree (3), Jelani Woods (2), Dezmon Patmon (1), Keke Coutee (1).
- The Colts are now in a wait and see approach with a knee injury to one of their important defensive starters. Kwity Paye went down early in Wednesday’s practice and immediately grabbed his left knee. Tyquan Lewis quickly flagged towards the sideline to indicate Paye needed medical attention. The injury came during an 11-on-11 period, where the starting defense was facing the second-team offense. Nick Foles was rolling to his right, when Paye went down behind the play. After a few minutes on the ground, Paye walked off gingerly. He had his left knee iced and remained seated on the sideline for the remainder of practice. Paye moved a little better leaving the practice field, walking slowly towards a golf cart, which he climbed in to head back to the team’s indoor facility at Grand Park. Wednesday was coordinator day, so the only update from Colts higherups came from Gus Bradley “hoping for good news” on awaiting the severity of Paye’s injury. When Paye exited, it bumped Lewis into a starting defensive end role, opposite Yannick Ngakoue. Ifeadi Odenigbo then jumped into the nickel pass rush group. For what it’s worth, the Paye injury occurred on the opposite field where Rigoberto Sanchez tore his Achilles on Wednesday. Paye was joined on the sideline by the injured Shaquille Leonard, with both sitting down to watch a chunk of Wednesday’s practice together. Based off how Drew Ogletree was carted indoors right after his season-ending injury, Paye stayed watching the rest of practice. Is that a sign of good news for Paye’s injury situation?
- The Colts confirmed on Wednesday that Rigoberto Sanchez has torn his Achilles. As we said yesterday, Sanchez is a weapon in the Colts controlling field position over the recent years. It’s pretty impressive how Sanchez has handled following Pat McAfee. How dire is the Colts punting situation? Undrafted safety Trevor Denbow was punting during the first team period of practice. Denbow actually punted for a season at SMU.
- Following the end to Wednesday’s practice, the Colts reportedly signed veteran punter Matt Haack. Since joining the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Haack has punted in 81 career games for the Dolphins and Bills. Haack is a left-footed punter, which is an aspect to punting that can cause some trouble for return men handling the spin from those punters. He also brings some holding experience, which is key for the Colts looking to replace everything Sanchez did. Haack’s kickoff background is minimal though, so that’s where Rodrigo Blankenship could step in. Haack lost a punting competition in Buffalo to heralded rookie Matt Arazia. A couple of notes in comparing Haack and Sanchez: Sanchez has a better career net punting average by 1.6 yards per punt; Haack averages a touchback on 1 in every 16 punts, compared to 1 and 21 for Sanchez.
- It took a positive COVID test to break up the Colts having the same starting offensive line for the entire training camp. Center Ryan Kelly has tested positive for COVID, meaning he will be out for 5 days. That takes Kelly off the field for Saturday’s preseason finale vs the Bucs, one in which the starters are expected to play around a half. In 2022, a positive COVID test means a 5-day isolation/absence, with players having to self-report symptoms.
- With Kelly out on Wednesday, the main offensive line grouping they used was as followed: LT-Matt Pryor, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Danny Pinter, RG-Will Fries, RT-Braden Smith. Like we saw on Tuesday, we did see one period of a more jumbled OL group: LT-Bernhard Raimann, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Danny Pinter, RG-Braden Smith, RT-Matt Pryor.
- As the Colts are searching desperately to replace some core special teams guys from last year, it doesn’t appear their big, young wideouts fit much of that script. Dezmon Patmon and Mike Strachan do not look to be core special teamers and that complicates some things when building out the wide receiver depth chart, while also thinking about assembling the best game day roster.
- With the Colts planning to play their starters a half on Saturday night, that’s really shrunk the practice team reps for Sam Ehlinger this week. Matt Ryan and Nick Foles have taken virtually every single 11-on-11 rep the last two days. As if you needed another reason to see the Colts quarterback depth chart, with no true competition between Foles and Ehlinger for the backup quarterback job.
- The strong safety competition between rookie Nick Cross and veteran Rodney McLeod remains very close, with the two splitting reps continually. Yes, the Colts would like to settle on one, staying away from wanting to rotate safeties in-game next to Julian Blackmon. For Cross, it’s all about continuing to be very focused. Bradley says when Cross is fully locked in, you see the athleticism flying around and making plays.
- New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was asked on Wednesday about a player who has surprised him in his new role. The first name he mentioned was DT-Grover Stewart. It is Stewart’s professionalism, specifically, that Bradley mentioned as what stood out. Stewart has defined consistency and dependability in his tenure with the Colts.
- Guys that stood out at Wednesday’s practice for a variety of reasons: WR-Michael Pittman, S-Julian Blackmon, WR-Parris Campbell, DE-Ifeadi Odeingbo, S-Trevor Denbow, DE-Yannick Ngakoue.
Injury Report: The following players remain on the PUP or non-football injury list: LB-Shaquille Leonard (calf/back). The following players also did not practice on Wednesday: OT-Dennis Kelly (knee), CB-Isaiah Rodgers (concussion), LB-Brandon King (hamstring), S-Will Redmond (undisclosed), DE-Kameron Cline (concussion).
Weekly Camp Schedule
-Thursday: 10:00 – 11:20 Final camp practice
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