Colts Players Absent From 2013 OTAs

Rob Carr

OTAs are voluntary... sorta. The basic expectation is that every player under contract should be working out with the team. That isn't always the case, though.

I've been asked this question a great deal the last two weeks: Who isn't at the Colts' voluntary team activities?

Since I'm not physically there at OTAs, I rely on information provided by the Colts or in reports from local media, in particular from Mike Chappell, the long-time beat writer for the Indianapolis Star. Per Chappell:

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, linebacker Robert Mathis and safety LeRon Landry were not at Wednesday’s practice. Wayne and Mathis have participated in portions of the team’s offseason workouts, but Landry has been working out on his own since signing a four-year, $24 million contract in March.

Landry has apparently missed all of the team's OTAs, a curious move on his part considering he is new to the organization after signing that 4-year, $24 million free agent contract with $11 mill in guaranteed green. Wayne and Mathis missing some or all of the team's workouts is nothing new. Reggie likes to train down in Miami. Robert has two small kids, and I imagine the demands of being a somewhat new dad take priority.

While Landry, Mathis, and Wayne have either missed some or all of OTAs, Craig Kelley, the director of media content at Colts.com, notes for us that other players are physically present at the team facility, but are not participating in workouts/practices.

Unofficially, there were 19 players who did not work on Wednesday, though many still were on hand for mental reps on and off the field. Among those not working were Delone Carter, Joe Lefeged, John Boyett, Pat Angerer, Donald Thomas, Cory Redding, Fili Moala and Brandon McKinney. OTAs continue on Thursday before a voluntary workout session on Friday.

Of the names on that list, Carter, Boyett, McKinney, Angerer, Redding, Moala, and Lefeged did not take reps on the field last week either. Other players who missed reps last week included guard Ben Ijalana and safety Larry Asante. Seeing Ijalana's and Asante's respective names absent from Craig Kelley's report suggests that they are on the field taking reps this week.

For a guy like Ben Ijalana, that's very good news. He needs all the reps he can get!

The two names that are a bit concerning are Pat Angerer and Brandon McKinney. With McKinney, he is still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered last year during training camp. So, on some level, it makes sense that he might not be ready for OTAs.

Angerer is a different story.

Angerer broke his foot early in preseason last year, and all throughout the 2013 campaign he never looked healthy. In fact, to put it bluntly, he looked slow as the starting inside linebacker. The team benched the much-improved Kavell Conner in favor of Angerer during the season, a move that us chuckleheads at Stampede Blue criticized because, in our eyes, Conner had outplayed Angerer.

Now, it seems Pat still is not completely healthy after having a second "procedure" on his foot during this off-season. One would have to imagine he is frustrated by the whole thing.

The reality of the NFL is that if a player cannot stay healthy, it makes little sense to retain that player. If you recall, last year this time we questioned whether or not Angerer's body would hold-up playing in Chuck Pagano's defense. So far, it hasn't. Well, his foot anyway.

Hopefully, Angerer can finally heal up and contribute on a more consistent basis for the Colts. If he can't, then there is no reason to start him over Conner, who blossomed into a very dependable inside backer in 2012.

It's also worth noting that the Colts traded OLB Jerry Hughes for ILB Kelvin Sheppard. Sheppard played a similar 3-4 defensive scheme while at LSU that the Colts are running now.

Thus, if Angerer cannot get back on the practice field, his days in Indianapolis might be numbered.

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