Khaled Holmes was a full participant in practice this week for the first time since his injury in the first preseason game, but he won't be returning as the Colts' starting center for at least another week. Head coach Chuck Pagano said on Friday that A.Q. Shipley would start for the third straight game for the Colts against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday.
"[Holmes] worked back into practice this week, I think we'll just stick with A.Q. (Shipley) for this ball game as the starter," Pagano said. He agreed, however, that he wants to work Holmes in for some reps here and there - "If he's up," Pagano said. "Like anybody else coming off an injury, whatever it is, I'm not just going to throw a kid to the wolves if he's not 100 percent and ready to play. Mentally it's not an issue. He knows exactly what to do. Physically, like you said, he hasn't played for a while. We're going to, I'm going to make sure that ankle is 100 percent before I throw him back out there."
So basically, Pagano is sticking with Shipley as the starting center so that they can ease him back in and get him up to 100 percent. That's not to say that Shipley isn't a good option, however. "We can play winning football with A.Q," Pagano declared.
It's still clear that the Colts fully plan on Khaled Holmes stepping back in as the starting center when he's healthy, but the Colts have confidence in A.Q. Shipley and therefore don't feel a need to rush Holmes back before he's 100%. And that makes perfect sense. Shipley has done a solid job filling in for Holmes, but it's clearly Holmes' job still whenever he really is healthy.
This Sunday against the Jaguars, however, it'll be A.Q. Shipley.