The Indianapolis Colts returned to the football field on Sunday after several months of waiting, though they were embarrassed 36-10 in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in their preseason opener.
Of course, as we know about the preseason, the starters typically don't play too much. That was certainly true of the Colts in this first preseason game, as the starters opened the game but didn't last long. There was a mass exodus on defense at the same time, while the offense was substituted more sporadically.
Let's take a look at the snap counts for the Colts' offense and defense from their preseason opener:
- Denzelle Good, the Colts' seventh-round draft pick this year, wins the award for playing the most snaps of any Colt during the first preseason game. In fact, he saw 17 more snaps than any other offensive player and saw 11 more snap than any defensive player. The Colts like him and are clearly trying to get him up to speed quickly, as he's coming from Mars Hill to the NFL. They played him as their second-team right tackle all throughout training camp and gave him valuable reps there, and it looks like they're continuing that effort to get Good a lot of reps. Perhaps the best part of all of it? He didn't just play a lot on Sunday, he actually looked pretty good in doing so.
- As for the starters, Andrew Luck and company played into the second drive, though Luck was subbed out mid-drive after 11 snaps total. At the same time, both Anthony Castonzo and Andre Johnson were subbed out, and from there others like Dwayne Allen (13 snaps), Todd Herremans (17 snaps), Khaled Holmes (20 snaps), Jack Mewhort (20 snaps), and Lance Louis (21 snaps) were subbed out over the next few plays.
- I think the Colts really wanted to see something from Zurlon Tipton on Sunday, as he played 38 snaps. With Frank Gore, Boom Herron, and Vick Ballard not playing, I would have thought it would be a great time to get some of the younger backs, like Josh Robinson (27 snaps) but moreso like Tyler Varga (4 snaps) and ABou Toure (12 snaps) more reps. However, I think from the Colts' point of view they wanted to see what they have in Tipton and therefore wanted to get him a lot of work, which makes sense. But with Gore, Herron, and Ballard out, Varga only saw four snaps? That, firstly, probably doesn't speak well to his chances of making the roster but secondly is something I would have done differently. Like I said, though, the Colts likely wanted to see Tipton more, which is fine.
- With Vontae Davis and Darius Butler not playing, Greg Toler playing just 11 snaps, and D'Joun Smith suffering a concussion after just eight snaps, that left more opportunities for some of the depth cornerbacks - like Deveron Carr, who saw the most snaps of any Colts defender with 50.
- Several of the rookies saw significant snaps. Safety Clayton Geathers played 47, as did inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera. Nose tackle David Parry played 33 snaps, while defensive end Henry Anderson played 26.
- Eight of the eleven defensive starters left after eleven snaps, which was after the end of the second drive. Trent Cole, Mike Adams, Greg Toler, Jerrell Freeman, Erik Walden, Dwight Lowery, Kendall Langford, and D'Qwell Jackson all exited the game after the Eagles scored a touchdown to end their second drive. The only "starters" from Sunday who played more snaps than that were nose tackle Josh Chapman (13 snaps), defensive tackle Arthur Jones (16 snaps), and cornerback Jalil Brown (32 snaps).