Two Tweets from two pretty prominent Colts rookies caught my attention today. The reason they caught my attention is... well, I hope you see what I mean.
Twitter account HurricaneJames5 (aka, Colts rookie running back Javarris James):
Just getting out of practice. Bout to eat then off to meetings
Twitter account CrewCampRay (aka, Colts rookie corner Ray Fisher):
Headed 2 practice thank god I get to do what I love and enjoy !blessed!
Unless I've missed some kind of rather important news update, training camp for the Colts certainly has not started. Players have not reported to Anderson, and several rookies are, as yet, unsigned.
So, what the heck are these "practices" that Ray Fisher and Javarris James going to? Band practice? Do they have "meetings" for those kinds of things? Fisher made his "going to practice" Tweet at about 8:30am Eastern time. James made his "getting out of practice" Tweet at around 12:30pm Eastern. Just so people know, the Colts closed OTAs back in early June.
This all seems quite odd to me, but I'm willing to accept that there is a perfectly logical and acceptable reason why Colts rookies are practicing and meeting about something just four days before the start of training camp. I've contacted the Colts and asked for an explanation. Hopefully, I'll get an answer today or tomorrow.
[UPDATE]: A Tweet from Javarris James 9 hours ago (around the same time Ray Fisher Tweeted he was "Headed 2 practice"):
In the car with My fellow rookies @CrewCampRay @bjamesk22 headed to practice let's get it.
The Twitter account @bjamesk22 is rookie running back and special teams return specialist Brandon James (no relation to Javarris). This means Ray Fisher, Brandon James, and Javarris James all attended a practice of some kind today, together.
I've been asking around if rookie practices at this time is "odd." Most people I've reached out to agree it does seem very weird. I have no idea if practicing rookies prior to camp is a violation of NFL rules. So, I won't go there. Still, this whole thing just seems very, very odd.
[UPDATE]: I spoke with an NFL spokesperson at the corporate office. According to NFL rules, rookies, injured players, and quarterbacks can report after July 5th. No other players can. The people Tweeting today (Javarris James, Ray Fisher, and Brandon James) are all rookies. So, no rules violated.
I was also told that rookies showing up and practicing this early is "common," but from other sources who know the team, they tell me this is early practice stuff is somewhat unusual. Perhaps the training camp location change (from Terre Haute to the much closer Anderson location) is the reason. Normal or not, if it is legal and a-okay for the league and the Players Union to have rookies show up early and get some extra time in, seems to make sense to me that the rookies would take advantage of that extra time.