In last Sunday's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Colts starters didn't play too much. They received two drives, give or take a few snaps, but that was about it. Andrew Luck played 11 snaps, as did Anthony Castonzo and Andre Johnson. Over the next few plays, most of the other starters were taken out of the game for the offense. And then after the conclusion of the second drive for the defense, eight of the eleven starters were taken out of the game (after just 11 snaps).
Of course, that's not a big surprise at all for the first preseason game, and head coach Chuck Pagano has confirmed that the starters will play more in Saturday's second preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. "We have an idea other than if someone gets nicked up and they can't go or they're limited from an injury standpoint," Pagano said on Thursday. "We just have to plan going in to Week 2 in the preseason what you want to try to get done. Guys will play more."
This isn't anything new from Pagano, either. Just yesterday he noted that veterans Andre Johnson and Frank Gore will "get more action this week," and the same is true for each preseason game. And then on Monday, Pagano said that the starters "are going to play more this game" and that "they'll get more snaps in this one and then the third game we all know how that goes."
In other words, it's pretty clear: we'll be seeing more from the starters this Saturday, provided they're not injured. For guys who are hurt, the Colts will continue to take it slowly (because, after all, it's just preseason), but other than that we can expect to see the starters more. One such starter? Running back Frank Gore, a veteran who didn't play in Sunday's preseason opener. Chuck Pagano was asked Thursday whether he has any problems with the fact that Gore hasn't played much in the past few preseasons, and while he said he doesn't, he also said there's a chance we might see Gore out there with the Colts' starters on Saturday.
"We're just going to play that by ear and take it one day at a time," Pagano said. "I don't have any problem, he doesn't have any problem with doing that [playing less in the preseason]. Maybe there's a good chance you'll see him out there this weekend."
If not Gore, then at least we'll likely see running back Vick Ballard return to the field on Saturday. There are a number of others who we might see return to the field, as well as some we won't see out there - but the bottom line is that, for the starters who are healthy, we're likely going to see more of them this Saturday than we did in last weekend's preseason opener.