Seven Things To Watch For: Browns at Colts
Seven Things To Watch For: Browns at Colts
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INDIANAPOLIS – After two spirited days of joint practices, it’s time for some live tackling inside of a much bigger venue.
The Colts and Browns are meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium this Saturday for a 4:00 PM kick in Week Two of the preseason.
Here are 7 things to watch for on Saturday afternoon:
1. Jacoby’s Growth
The latest news on Andrew Luck has pushed this storyline to the top of the list heading into Week Two of the preseason.
It’s a possibility that the Colts will have to turn to Jacoby Brissett to start the regular season.
If that is the case, the Colts need to see continued development from Brissett. Specifically, Frank Reich wants to see Brissett fine tune the quicker rhythm throws in this offense, along with having a better understanding of pass protection responsibilities that the QB and Ryan Kelly largely handle.
Brissett and the starting offensive line need to handle protections better after some shaky moments against the Browns in that area.
2. Live Defensive Challenge
While the joint practices are great from a reps standpoint, it’s still not truly live action inside of an NFL stadium.
We will get that atmosphere on Saturday.
Cleveland rested some key offensive names in Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku for stretches, if not all, of the joint sessions.
It would be really beneficial to the Colts and their defense to see the Browns play some of those guys in facing Baker Mayfield for a chunk of Saturday’s first half.
3. Looking More Normal
From a personnel standpoint, the Colts will have many more frontlines guys playing Saturday than they did in last week’s preseason opener.
Many guys who ‘rested’ in Week One of the preseason are expected to suit up on Saturday. That list includes: Marlon Mack, T.Y. Hilton, Anthony Castonzo, Justin Houston, Denico Autry, Darius Leonard, Kenny Moore. We also didn’t see Ryan Kelly, Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle or Clayton Geathers last week for injury purposes.
Yes, some injured guys will sit out Saturday’s game vs. the Browns: Andrew Luck, Jabaal Sheard, Quenton Nelson.
But we will still see the starters in there playing for around a quarter.
4. Is Ya-Sin Ready To Start?
To close out camp, Rock Ya-Sin has seen reps with the starting defense earlier and earlier in practice.
What Ya-Sin has done in pushing Quincy Wilson for the final defensive back spot in the team’s nickel package is quite impressive.
Wilson has been very sound during camp, but Ya-Sin’s constant playmaking simply cannot be overlooked.
It’s why the Colts have put the rookie with the starters more this past week.
Will either of the next two preseason games sway enough of an opinion on how the Colts handle their nickel package in 2019?
5. See More From Young Rushers
Rookie Ben Banogu is healthy and has returned to practice, with his reps increasing in the past few days.
In the joint practices against the Browns, we saw some nice moments from Banogu and even Kemoko Turay.
These two former second-round picks are potentially huge answers to the Colts’ long-term search for a dominant edge rusher.
After a quiet preseason opener in the edge rushing department, these guys above are names to watch.
6. Any Settling To Wide Receiver Group?
With the unfortunate Reece Fountain injury on Thursday, the new names to watch at receiver are Zach Pascal, Krishawn Hogan and Marcus Johnson.
What hurts those guys in their pursuit for a 53-man roster spot though is the quality depth at wide receiver.
The main issue for any of them comes down to the Colts looking to have 5 wideouts pretty set in stone on the 53-man roster. And it’s no slam dunk they have the ability to carry six receivers.
If they do, Pascal, who is a strong special teams player, probably has the lead.
It’s a must that Hogan and Johnson continue to stack performances day-after-day, and the games are a massive barometer for two guys that still have significant work to do to find their way onto the roster come September.
7. D’Onta Foreman’s Opportunity
With Jordan Wilkins (foot) still on the mend, Jonathan Williams has made a nice push to what looks to be the right side of the 53-man roster bubble.
Certainly, the health of Wilkins is something to watch when cutting this group down to 4 runners, but how D’Onta Foreman looks in game settings is also a storyline.
Foreman didn’t play in last week’s preseason opener, as he had only been a Colt for 72 hours.
But the former third-round pick should see some action Saturday. Will Foreman show that he’s fully recovered from an Achilles tear he suffered 21 months ago?
If Wilkins is healthy, it’s not going to be easy for the 236-pound Foreman to make the roster.