Colts/Bears Thursday Notebook: No Answer On If Jacoby Brissett Will Start Satudray
Colts/Bears Thursday Notebook: No Answer On If Jacoby Brissett Will Start Satudray
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INDIANAPOLIS – For no competitive advantage reasoning, like we would see in the regular season, the Colts are going to withhold publicly naming their starting quarterback going into Week 3 of the preseason.
Frank Reich stayed away from that answer on Thursday, after the Colts wrapped up their final practice of the week, before Saturday’s preseason contest against the Bears.
Here are some other tidbits from the Colts practicing on Thursday afternoon:
- For a second day in a row, Frank Reich was asked about Jacoby Brissett starting on Saturday. “I appreciate the question, but I really don’t want to list (who is out). It’s more policy. You won’t see most of the 1s.” Should we read into things being positive for Andrew Luck playing Week 1, if Brissett starts against the Bears. And vice versa, if Luck doesn’t start, which would indicate the Colts need to protect Brissett for Week 1 duty? “That would be a logical conclusion,” Reich said on Thursday, before offering some caution to such a concrete conclusion. “But right now, there’s been no determination made on anything at this point. If we felt like we had to (sit Jacoby)…at some point we want to protect Jacoby, regardless of Andrew’s injury status. Because in theory even if Andrew is playing in Week 1, he still hasn’t taken a lot of reps, so we still are going to protect Jacoby anyways.”
- Frank Reich was asked on Thursday about the fine line between not playing starters in the preseason leading to potential regular season rust: “I would agree that there’s a fine line. What gives me confidence in doing that is how much game speed work, we’ve had, how much situational work we’ve had. I would say the big difference these days, compared to a few years back, I think teams have gotten better and better at getting ready for situational football and applying that stuff. That’s really the stuff that games show. We do an immense amount of third-down work, two-minute work, red-zone work, all the way in the offseason. We get to all the little situational plays, end of game plays. We really emphasize this as an offense, and a defense in so many of those situations that we feel confident and ready to go.”
- Speaking of that, with the Colts resting “many” starters on Saturday night, that could be the end of the preseason for a bunch of guys. On Thursday, I compared the preseason snap counts from 2018 to 2019 for these players: Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Darius Leonard, Kenny Moore, Eric Ebron and Pierre Desir. If the Colts rest these 8 ‘frontline’ guys on Saturday, they will end the preseason having played an average of 69 fewer snaps than they played last year. Welcome to life in the NFL in 2019, especially when you aren’t implementing new systems on each side of the ball.
- The Colts have gotten more reserved about how much they are sharing with Andrew Luck’s current rehab situation: “I think his rehab, he’s tried to just continue to make progress,” Frank Reich said on Thursday. “Just make progress. That’s the key.” This is far less detail than they were willing to share earlier in the month, when Luck first had his setback.
- One other (and rather important) note on Luck. The Colts are still sifting through whether or not Luck could risk further injury, if he’s playing at less than 100 percent. “That’s something I’ll let the doctors address. That’s continuing to be evaluated,” Reich said on Thursday. This is, obviously, a huge detail in Luck possibly playing at less than 100 percent.
- On Tuesday, Frank Reich was about Chad Kelly’s time in Indianapolis. On the field, Kelly has done what he’s needed to do to stay on the Colts’ radar after his two-game suspension. Off the field? It sounds like Kelly has checked that box. “The biggest question was off the field,” Reich said about the Colts’ feelings upon signing Kelly back in June. “I know Chad’s a good person, but he’s had a few incidents off the field and you can’t have those. Would he be the ‘model citizen’ that we all want in this building? And he’s been that. He’s been that A-to-Z, in every way. And he’s worked hard. As far as a player, I always knew that Chad had that playmaker in him. You could see that in his college tape. He can ad lib. He just has a way and a knack of making plays. Can you consistently learn and grow in an offense? I think he’s showing some progress there as well.” Kelly will be a name to watch one his two-game/week suspension ends. Could he return to the Colts in a practice squad role?
- Looking for a young name to watch this week? How about undrafted free agent WR-Penny Hart? Besides Andrew Luck and Jabaal Sheard, I’m not sure there’s another Colts player who has missed more practice time this offseason than Hart. Clearly, the Colts are intrigued by Hart, in keeping him around for this long, despite his lengthy absence. Hart has practiced this week and his No. 1 jersey should be handling some return duties, along with playing wideout on Saturday night.
- Speaking of Sheard, we saw him in the locker room on Thursday, one of the few times he’s been around the media during his near month-long absence. Sheard was wearing a sleeve on his right leg. Earlier this week, Frank Reich said this on an update regarding Sheard: “Probably not as ready to talk about his situation yet,” the head coach said. “He’s making good progress. Probably not ready to make a statement as far as how close (he’s) to Week 1.”
- One note from the Colts: They pointed out that Howard Mudd is not attending practices, and likely will not be during the season. This was part of the original plan with Mudd, as he will be inside during practice, game-planning and preparing for meetings. However, it is a change from Training Camp when we saw Mudd on the practice field during practice. Offensive line coach Chris Strausser continues to lead the offensive line unit.
- Reece Fountain has a message, and a promise for Colts fans.
- We did not see Parris Campbell (hamstring) on Thursday practicing, which is not surprising considering that earlier in the week Frank Reich said the rookie wideout would “probably not” practice this week, even though he took another positive step forward. The rookie wideout was working with the rehab staff when he came out for practice. Campbell has now missed 15 straight practices. When the Colts get back to practice on Monday it will have been more than 4 weeks since we last saw Campbell participating. His continued absence will certainly impact how big of a role he will have Week 1 (assuming he plays) and it’s helping Zach Pascal’s pursuit for a 53-man roster spot.
- Frank Reich noted yesterday “there are spots open” on the team’s 53-man roster. Where are those spots? Here are some guesses: final running back spot or two due to injuries, a 6th wide receiver, who is the 4th tight end, depth along the offensive line, the final cornerback spot or two, possibly the need for a 5th safety.
- ROSTER MOVE: On Thursday morning, the Colts signed DT-Johnny Robinson and waived RB-James Williams. Robinson was originally a 2019 undrafted free agent of the Colts. His presence could be needed with DT-Tyquan Lewis (knee) currently banged up. On Thursday, Frank Reich said this about Lewis, who first got banged up a week ago against the Browns: “He has a knee thing that’s bothering him. We don’t think it’s going to be anything serious. But we are just being safe and letting him get back to full strength.” AS far as Williams, he was waived after being with the Colts for about 48 hours. At running back, the Colts have these healthy bodies: Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Marqis Young and Charcandrick West. Currently, Jonathan Williams (ribs) and Jordan Wilkins (foot) are dealing with injuries.
- Here were the Colts who did not appear to be practicing on Thursday: DE-Jabaal Sheard (sore knee, has missed 18 straight practices), WR-Parris Campbell (has missed 15 straight practices), QB-Andrew Luck (calf/ankle, has missed 15 straight practices), RB-Jordan Wilkins (foot, has missed 14 straight practices), RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs, has missed 3 straight days of practices), DT-Tyquan Lewis (has missed 2 straight days of practice), CB-Marvell Tell., LB-Zaire Franklin The guys that looked to be returning to practice on Thursday included: S-Clayton Geathers, CB-Nate Hairston, K-Adam Vinatieri, who was back for the first time in more than two weeks.
- The Colts have just two practices left this preseason (Monday and Tuesday) before next Thursday’s preseason finale against the Bengals. Roster cuts will come next Saturday, with the Colts taking that weekend off from practice before a Labor Day Monday session to prepare for the season opener on September 8th.