The Indianapolis Colts returned to the field for the final week of the offseason program today, beginning a three-day mandatory mini-camp.
All players are required to attend, though that isn't a big deal for a Colts team that has seen tremendous attendance throughout the entire offseason program as new offensive and defensive systems are installed. Tuesday's practice was held at the team's West 56th Street complex and was open to the media, and we've compiled a brief update of what went on today (hint: nothing too big).
Great day for practice:
Beautiful day for #Colts #MiniCamp, last organized team work before training camp. Open practice at LOS Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/1mXojkABE6— Rich Nye (@NyeSportsGuy) June 7, 2016
The negative news on the injury front is that guard Hugh Thornton was still not working today, something that has been the case all offseason. That has allowed guys like Jonotthan Harrison and Joe Haeg (among others) to see significant time at right guard.
The good news on the injury front, however, is that Donte Moncrief is no longer in a walking boot. He's been in a boot for the entirety of the offseason program after undergoing a procedure earlier this year, but he was out of the boot today. It sounds like he still didn't practice much, but at least he's making progress.
Also in the good news category is that punter Pat McAfee, who revealed yesterday that he had surgery earlier this offseason to clean up his left knee, completed his first full session of punting since the surgery. Naturally, he was pretty excited about it:
Did my first full session of punting today since surgery pic.twitter.com/7xqyURT2X9— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) June 7, 2016
Offensive line starters still uncertain
So far, the OTAs haven't really given us much more insight into who the offensive line starters will be, and we shouldn't expect mini-camp to do so either. Basically, it's an area that will have to be decided in training camp and preseason. So far we know that Anthony Castonzo will be at left tackle, Jack Mewhort at left guard, and Ryan Kelly at center. Right guard and right tackle? Those spots are up in the air, and we can't read too much into it in June.
“Yeah, I think the biggest place where you don’t get as much of a view of what things are is the offensive line in the spring," offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said Tuesday. "It’s an assignment period, there’s not a lot of a real competition out there from that standpoint up front. They can’t hit each other, push around and finish blocks and see those things that are all about offensive line, right? The toughness in play and the physicality and all those things and that’s really what defines guys up front and right now it’s all just projection and looking at. But there are a number of spots that we’ll have to work through and see. We’ll get the best five out there at the end of the day and that will be an interesting competition and I’m looking forward to seeing those guys because I’m high on a lot of those young guys and some of the guys that we have back that have been injured and will be back for training camp.”
Visit from the boss
Owner Jim Irsay stopped by at practice on Tuesday:
Today's #ColtsMiniCamp practice ended with a visit from @JimIrsay.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) June 7, 2016
Day 1 Recap: https://t.co/k5eRcosO7f pic.twitter.com/m5eFiveLte
Looking forward to Wednesday
On Wednesday, the Colts will take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the highlight of their offseason program: an open practice in front of their fans as a part of a fun-filled fan fest. The team will practice at 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday with plenty of festivities for fans beforehand and the Lego Movie showing afterward, and the players are excited to get in front of their fans for the first time this year.
“Oh, I love it," wide receiver T.Y. Hilton said. "To interact with the fans and have fun with them. And also let them see what they are going to see from the Colts this year.”
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis is also pumped up to practice in front of the fans. “Absolutely, it’s their first look at our 2016 team," he said. "Everybody is excited. Fans, I know they will be and players are as well.”