When most people think of an NFL team's offseason workout program, they likely have in mind OTAs (organized team activities). In reality, however, OTAs don't take place until phase three of the offseason program. This week, the Indianapolis Colts begin phase three and therefore will take the field for OTAs for the first time this year.
OTAs are as close to an actual practice as you'll find in the offseason for teams, as they look similar to the training camp workouts that you'll see. The players can only be in shells (not full pads) and there isn't live contact, but the entire team can take the field together for drills such as 11-on-11 or 7-on-7. OTAs are still voluntary for players just like the rest of the offseason work has been, but this part often carries special importance to players - such as tight end Dwayne Allen, who was planning all along to show up for OTAs after working out away from the team this offseason.
Throughout the next few weeks, the Colts will hold ten OTA sessions (including three this week) as they near the end of their offseason workout program, which will conclude after a veteran mini-camp from June 9-11 (which includes an open practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on June 10).
After that mini-camp, the Colts will go their separate ways for about a month and a half before they report for training camp on August 1. So these OTAs, along with the mini-camp, are really the last time for the team to work together until training camp begins. And this phase three begins this week for the Colts.