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INDIANAPOLIS – On Sunday, the Colts and their trimmed roster got back on the practice field.
It was the team’s first 53-man roster practice after cut downs, as they now are just one week away from taking on the Chargers in the regular season opener.
Here are some tidbits from the Colts getting back to practice on Sunday:
- With just 1 quarterback on the 53-man roster (Jacoby Brissett) and 1 quarterback on the practice squad, obviously, the Colts will be making another move at quarterback, before they get back to practice on Wednesday: “We are working through it,” Chris Ballard said on Sunday. “We want to get the right guy for us. We know there’s some possibilities out there. We will have (him) in the building soon.” Ballard said the Colts are open to finding a guy who is a shorter-term fix, until Chad Kelly’s suspension is over, or more of a long-term fit for the rest of the 2019 season. “We are working through both scenarios,” the GM said.
- So far, there’s been 4 quarterbacks that the Colts have reportedly brought in for visits. You have had the trio of veteran free agents in Brock Osweiler, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel. And now you have the much less experienced David Fales. And the latest interest that is swirling around Brian Hoyer. Expect a QB move by the Colts in the next day or so.
- Ballard said the Colts will not be putting DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee) on injured reserve. Having said that, Sherad’s return doesn’t appear to be imminent. He hasn’t practiced in more than a month.
- Frank Reich liked what he saw from Parris Campbell in Thursday’s preseason finale, and how the rookie’s hamstring has responded: “He came through well. I think physically he’s on track and we will continue to progress him this week and continue to build his strength and stamina.” The role for Campbell next Sunday in Week 1 might not be gargantuan, but the Colts continue to be eager about the rookie’s impact, despite him missing a month of camp/preseason: “He’s a multi-dimensional player,” Reich said on Sunday. “You can throw him a shallow route and I think all of our eyes popped when we saw what he did with that ball (a 31-yard catch and run from the preseason finale). We think there’s a whole lot more in there and we are excited to explore that. We just feel that Parris has the right aptitude, but it has to be something that we will gradually unfold. When we game plan, it’s play by play. Who is at what spot? And literally sit there and grind out every position. Who are we trying to feature? How do we marry that with something we do, so that the next time we run this play, we come back and then run a screen off it, or a different look? To have a tool like (Campbell), really excited.”
- Frank Reich has had the hour-long meeting with Jacoby Brissett that he wanted to eventually get to following Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement last weekend: “We did have an hour-plus conversation about his role, our team, about the situation he’s stepping into and he handled it just like I thought (he would),” Reich said on Sunday. “This guy is a pro. It was very conversational. It wasn’t a rah-rah kind of thing. It was more centered around, ‘Be yourself, you don’t have to be a hero.’ I had a list of about 12 things, 12 bullet points that I went through. I’m not going to rehash it. To be honest with you, I know Jacoby knows everything I said. And I know he already knows everything I said. But I still think it was good for us to go point by point, through those 12 things, experiences, lessons learned, from my perspective over the years to help him in any way that I could. But then just for us to sit and talk about our offense, to talk about our team. I thought it was a good visit.”
- We’ve heard several comparisons of Frank Reich handling Carson Wentz to Nick Foles, and now Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett. But whereas the Wentz/Foles thing happened in December of the regular season, involving an injury, this one came in August with a retirement. “I think it’s a different mindset for Jacoby,” Reich said of the difference in the two situations. “He is the man He’s our answer. Where in Nick’s situation, Carson was having an MVP-year. So I think everybody knew Nick was going to come in and do what he did, then Carson was going to be the man again. I think that’s the biggest difference.”
- We know 6 of the 10 practice squad spots for the Colts: OT-Jackson Barton, CB-Jalen Collins, WR-Ashton Dulin, C/G-Jake Eldrenkamp, LB-Skai Moore and QB-Phillip Walker. All 6 of those guys spent the 2019 preseason with the Colts. Walker joined Jacoby Brissett as the only other quarterback practicing for the Colts on Sunday afternoon. You have to think that will change, at some point, this week.
- The lone waiver claim that the Colts made on Sunday afternoon was adding cornerback Ryan Lewis (Bills) to their 53-man roster. It was a bit surprising to see cornerback, one of the deeper positions on the team, receive a new addition. Lewis, who stands 6-0 and 195 pounds, made 3 starts for Buffalo last season. He’s played in 7 career games since going undrafted out of Pittsburgh back in 2017. Along with Buffalo, the 25-year-old Lewis has spent time with the Cardinals and Patriots. Chris Ballard worked with Lewis’ father, Will, in Kansas City. Will Lewis was the Chiefs Director of Pro Scouting from 2013-17. “We’ve kind of had our eye on Lewis for a while. Last year, we tried to get him. We see a similar guy (to Milton). He’s big and fast. He’s really good on (special) teams and we think he has upside at corner. We got a younger player that has a little bit longer on his contract and we think he can help us.”
- To make room for Lewis, the Colts waived special teams ace CB-Chris Milton. Clearly, the Colts feel that Lewis gives them more of a defensive presence, if need be, versus Milton. In 13 of his 15 games played last season, Milton didn’t log a single defensive snap. Who will be the Colts’ gunners with Milton exiting? Safety George Odum should be one of them. As far as Lewis, he played only 45 special teams snaps in 7 games on the field last year. Maybe Zach Pascal or Kenny Moore for the other gunner spot?
- The Colts did not have any players claimed by other teams on Sunday. Still, it was notable to see the Colts part ways with guys like Matthias Farley (Jets), Nate Hairston (Jets) and Evan Boehm (Dolphins) and add to their 2020 draft stock. The Hairston trade got the Colts another 6th round pick. And the Boehm trade has Indy in line for a higher 7th round selection than they originally had. If the Dolphins finish with a better record than Indy, then the Colts will get Miami’s 6th round selection. Ballard said on Sunday that teams were calling the Colts about a few other players as well.”
- Here were the Colts who did not appear to be practicing on Sunday afternoon: DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee), RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs), CB-Kenny Moore (thumb). RB-Jordan Wilkins (foot) and WR-Devin Funchess (back) were back to practice on Sunday. Wilkins was getting his first action on the field in more than a month. The first official injury report of the season will come on Wednesday.
- The Colts will now have an off day on Monday, hold meetings with players on Tuesday, before getting back to practice Wednesday-Friday. That will be the normal regular season practice schedule heading into next Sunday’s regular season opener at the Chargers.