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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are moving on from Chad Kelly, for now.
On Wednesday, the team elected to not promote Kelly to the 53-man roster. Kelly, who had his two-week suspension end on Wednesday, can now be picked up by any of the other 31 teams.
If Kelly clears that waiver market, he could return to the Colts on their practice squad. Waiting later in the week to make this move does afford the Colts a chance that Kelly could sneak through the waiver wire, with teams already having their rosters pretty set for the week.
Having said that, numerous teams around the league are dealing with less than ideal injury situations at quarterback and could be intrigued by taking a chance on Kelly.
Clearly, the Colts are content with their current quarterback situation of Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer, and don’t see a massive need to protect Kelly by adding a third quarterback to the 53-man roster.
Even though the injury list for the Colts is a bit longer this week, it appears they still have some flexibility at the back end of their 53-man roster, if they wanted to protect Kelly.
During the preseason, Kelly went 54-of-73 (74 percent) for 583 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, with a passer rating of 94.7. Kelly added 107 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries.
Here is the other news from the Colts’ first ‘practice’ of the week:
- After two road games in warm temps, combined with all the hot practices to close out the summer, Frank Reich decided to dial things back at Wednesday’s practice. Reich spoke with the Colts’ strength and training staff earlier this week and decided to have a ‘modified’ practice with an ‘up-tempo walk-through’ on what is normally the first practice day of the week. This is an approach the Colts actually used in the final 4 games last season, and in both playoff games. In such a scaled back practice, the Colts are actually able to up their rep total from about 40 ‘physical’ reps to 60 ‘mental’ reps. Typically, Wednesday is the most physical practice day of the week.
- The Colts have received clarity from the NFL on the two ‘false start’ clapping penalties against Jacoby Brissett from Sunday. Well, like the Denico Autry incorrect call from the week prior, the NFL errored on these penalties, as well. While the first ‘false start’ penalty on Brissett probably could have been a delay of game on the offense, the second infraction was an incorrect call. Let Reich go into more detail on all the clapping talk from Wednesday: “There was just a little misunderstanding,” the head coach offered in a politically correct way. “There’s really two kinds of claps. The one that everybody sees on TV where the quarterback (is rapidly clapping to get the ball snapped), basically saying, ‘Hey, give me the ball! The play clock is running down.’ And as long as the ball comes during or right after the last clap, we are good. Then there’s the old college clap, which is the single clap, pause, then single clap (hike). You can’t do that, which we have never done.” The NFL is trying to emphasize a focus this season in not allowing quarterbacks to slowly clap at the line of scrimmage. “It has to do with the abruptness of the movement, more than anything else,” Reich added. “When you are going (quick with the clapping), there’s no deception anymore, so it’s really all about the intent of the deception.”
- We will have more on this in Thursday’s notebook, but if Darius Leonard (concussion) has to miss Sunday’s game, I think the Colts will use rookie Bobby Okereke at the MIKE and then have Anthony Walker slide over to the WILL, where Leonard normally plays. Okereke has taken the majority of his practice snaps at MIKE, so it’s probably easier to have him slide in there. Walker can still have the headset communication in and make some calls from the sideline, but as far as in-play responsibilities, Okereke at the MIKE seems to make the most the most sense.
- Leonard (concussion) was a DNP on the Wednesday injury report, which was an estimation because of the walk-through approach for the Colts this week. For what it’s worth, the 2 guys the Colts had last season in the concussion protocol, who also went on to play that following Sunday, were limited at the Wednesday practice. Technically, Leonard can still progress through the concussion protocol by Sunday without participating on Wednesday, but his early absence this week isn’t a great sign.
- While Reich knows Jacoby Brissett wasn’t perfect in Sunday’s win, he did like how the quarterback handled the final quarter. Reich is a fan of the temperament Brissett shows in the game’s most critical quarter. “One thing I’ve noticed with Jacoby in the two games, he almost seems the ‘most calm’ in the 4th quarter. Hopefully that’s a continuing trend. I really like the look on his face and in his eyes when the game gets into crunch time…I just think he has the ‘it’ factor.”
- I found this Eric Ebron hurdle and reaction by Frank Reich from Sunday pretty funny. You rarely see emotion from Reich like this. On Wednesday, the head coach expanded on that more: “It was a huge play. One of the reasons I was fired up was: Because it was physically a great play and you rarely see that. The second reason I was fired up about it was: We had just talked in the meeting the night before that we were going to get into a 3rd-and-long and we were going to call a play, we were going to look to throw it down field, their zone coverage was going to drop really deep and we were going to check it underneath and because we have really talented players, somebody was going to make somebody miss. And we were going to pick up a third down on a 3rd-and-long because we have good players. As a coach, when you say something is going to happen, and it happens, you get fired up about it. Players make you look good and that’s what Eric did.”
- We know Reich showed some ‘you know what’ when he went for the 4th-and-1 late in Sunday’s 4th quarter. But, if Reich was willing to go for it on 4th-and-1 with 2:24 remaining, why did the Colts run the ball three plays later, thus foregoing a reasonable chance at converting a 3rd-and-9 with 2:00 to go and the Titans out of timeouts. “It was really tempting. It was really hard not to call a pass right there,” Reich said. “There wasn’t any discussion among the coaching staff as far as whether or not we were going to go for (the 4th-and-1). When it came to the 3rd-and-9, I did have a quick conversation with Nick (Sirianni) about, ‘Hmm, do we make them use this last timeout or do we just throw it and try to end the game with the ball in our hand?’ We had something called that we had to check out of. They brought a corner blitz on that play. We had something else called and Jacoby did a good job of recognizing the corner blitz and checked. We told him, ‘If you see perimeter pressure, check to a run, maybe we can bust it.’ So he did a great job on it. I was tempted to call a pass, but I thought Jacoby played it out just right.”
- Thought this was an interesting point made by Reich on how the emphasis/success of the run game not only opens up the Colts’ offensive playbook, but it also shrinks what a defense can do. “It also minimizes the defense’s playbook because when you can run the football, I think it forces the issues on defense to stop the run and they got to commit to doing that,” the Colts head coach said.
- Quarterback guru Tom House was back at Colts practice on Wednesday. While a lot was made of the Tom House/Andrew Luck relationship, the QB wizard has worked a lot with Jacoby Brissett, too.
- The Colts will practice again on Thursday and Friday before Sunday’s home opener against the Falcons. The Colts and Falcons will kick off at 1:00 PM.
WEDNESDAY INJURY REPORT (an estimation given the Colts had a walk-through)
DNP: LB-Darius Leonard, RB-Marlon Mack (calf)
-Bowen Analysis: FWIW, Marlon Mack was holding a walking boot in his hand during locker room availability on Tuesday (yes, I know that sounds odd).
LIMITED: RB-Jonathan Williams (ribs), DE-Jabaal Sheard (knee), DE-Kemoko Turay (neck), CB-Pierre Desir (knee), WR-T.Y. Hilton (quad), DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad
-Bowen Analysis: Some good news on a few names here. Turay looks like he could return after missing last week. Desir has avoided a major scare after leaving Sunday’s win over the Titans. This is the first time we’ve seen Sheard participate in some capacity at practice since July 25, the first day of Training Camp practice.
-FULL: QB-Jacoby Brissett (knee)
-Bowen Analysis: Brissett has played every snap this season, but this is the first time he’s been on the injury report.