The Colts tonight held their first and only night practice of 2014 training camp (though I didn't see any "BBQ Bash" anywhere...), and as always there was a great crowd on hand to watch.
It was a relatively calm and uneventful practice, though it was just the second practice in full pads of camp so far, so that added an extra element.
Overall, the biggest thing that happened in this practice was what didn't happen - and that was any significant injuries. There were a few minor injuries it seemed, which we'll talk about in a minute, but overall, there wasn't anything major, which makes the practice a win.
Let's look at some notes from tonight's practice:
- I counted 10 players not practicing tonight: RB Davin Meggett, CB Loucheiz Purifoy, OL Xavier Nixon, WR T.Y. Hilton, WR Josh Lenz, LB Josh McNary, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, S Sergio Brown, CB Vontae Davis, and S LaRon Landry. I don't have any new info about any of them, but since the two ones that I know you'll ask about are Hilton and Bradshaw, I'll say this - I think T.Y. Hilton's absence today truly was precautionary. I really don't think it's a big deal. And with Bradshaw, the feeling I got was it was just a day off.
- Tight end Dwayne Allen returned to the field tonight, and from a health standpoint, he looked completely fine. From the standpoint of his actual play, Allen didn't have a great night. He slipped on a route a couple of different times, and then he had a couple of drops.
- Daniel Adongo was trying his hand at returning kicks pre-practice again tonight on the practice field. I still don't think he'll get a shot whatsoever there.
- The star of training camp tonight was wide receiver Reggie Wayne. I think we saw clearly tonight that if T.Y. Hilton ever misses time with an injury, the Colts offense will turn into the Reggie Wayne show. Wayne was catching everything (making a couple of very nice snags) and Andrew Luck was looking for him constantly. Reggie looked great tonight.
- Early in practice, when the centers were working purely on snapping the football, it was Khaled Holmes, Jonotthan Harrison, FN Lutz, and Jack Mewhort. The opportunity is certainly there for guys like Harrison and Lutz, but the Colts are working with Mewhort (at least a tiny bit) at snapping some it seems. Previously, they did this with Donald Thomas.
- I think that every day I have watched camp, Da'Rick Rogers has shown improvement. There are still plenty of plays to make you groan, but there are also plenty of plays to get you excited. Such as what I mentioned yesterday with Rogers' speed. Today, the good thing for Rogers was that the quarterbacks seemed to look for him more, and he made a couple of nice catches. He's getting better at his route running, but it's becoming clear that will never be a strength for him. While I would technically put him in the category of bubble guys, the potential that he has gives him a good chance.
- Andrew Luck and Hakeem Nicks' timing keeps getting better.
- Adam Vinatieri had another great practice tonight, making kicks from about 28, 33, 38, 43, 46, 49, and 60 yards out. He missed from 56 yards out - barely. His kick from 60 was barely over the crossbar, but he made it anyway. Vinatieri has had a nice camp so far.
- Greg Toler dropped a sure interception tonight, and proceeded to do push ups. Toler has actually had a very good camp so far, but tonight his biggest standout play was for the dropped pick.
- Andrew Jackson, the rookie inside linebacker, made the hit of the night on a night where there wasn't a whole lot of hitting, laying a nice hit on fellow rookie, running back Zurlon Tipton.
- Toward the end of practice tonight, there was a sight that wasn't too encouraging for Colts fans. On the sideline, T.Y. Hilton stood around in shorts, not practicing due to his jammed finger yesterday. Reggie Wayne had his right knee with ice on it and in a huge wrap - his normal routine after his work is done for the day. Hakeem Nicks injured his hand in practice when he dropped a pass over the middle and then got it looked at by trainers. He came back in for one play, caught a pass, and then jogged off the field - with his hand/finger obviously still bothering him. He didn't practice the remainder of the night, though he seems fine too. And Donte Moncrief got his right thigh wrapped in a big wrap and he sat out the rest of practice too. Again, there is absolutely no reason for concern and none of the "injuries" appear to be serious at all (and, in Reggie's case, it's in an effort to prevent another injury), but it stood out to me that toward the end of practice, the four best and top receivers on the Colts team were standing on the sidelines, either with something wrapped or something bothering them. Not a great sight for Colts fans to see, even if it's no concern at all (again, it's not).
- Jack Mewhort saw the majority of the reps with the first team at left guard, though Lance Louis did see a bit of time there as well.
- It was great meeting some Colts fans at practice tonight. The night practices are always fun.