Like it or not, there are a lot of things that don’t matter during OTAs.
For example, a storyline that sometimes pops up is regarding a player who doesn’t show up to these voluntary workouts, something that (normally) doesn’t matter too much (though at times it does).
With the Colts having completed their OTAs this week, let’s take a look at three things we learned that do matter.
1. Andrew Luck still not practicing
There’s really no other place to start than with the franchise quarterback, since he didn’t participate at all in OTAs on-the-field. Luck is still recovering from offseason surgery to repair his labrum, and that resulted in him not throwing or doing drills this offseason. Furthermore, there is no timeline for him beginning to throw or for him returning to the field, at least that’s been publicly disclosed.
Luck has stayed involved in a number of other ways, however, such as participating in meetings and serving as a coach on the field for other players. He’s doing all he can to improve from a mental standpoint while he rehabs trying to get back on the field as soon as possible. Because of his status as the franchise quarterback, Luck Watch will continue until we actually see him on the field.
2. Position battles starting to take shape
While there is a lot of shuffling and competition going on during the offseason program, we can still get a better idea of what the Colts are thinking regarding certain players and positions. For example, along the offensive line it appears that Joe Haeg (RG) and Le’Raven Clark (RT) are the clear favorites to start, since they took most first team reps in OTAs. Or at inside linebacker, it seems that Sean Spence is the frontrunner at the WILL linebacker spot, while we’ve also learned that Anthony Walker is a MIKE linebacker. Some other positions, such as at cornerback, are far more difficult to tell at this point, because several players rotated (like Quincy Wilson and Rashaan Melvin). Another thing we learned is that there will indeed be a legitimate competition for the backup quarterback spot.
These position battles will really have to play out in training camp and it’s hard to tell a ton right now, but we at least somewhat have a better idea of what the Colts are thinking in regards to the depth chart. It can change a lot, but it provides more well-informed analysis about who might be the favorites at certain position as we lead up to camp.
3. Colts emerge rather healthy
One of the most important things that fans and media members alike can takeaway from OTAs is the health of the team, and here it’s a mixture of both good and bad news. On the bad news side of things, the Colts were missing a number of notable names in OTAs because of pre-existing injuries. Andrew Luck of course is the most notable one, but other guys like Malik Hooker, Kendall Langford, and even at times Jack Mewhort are still working their way back from injuries.
On the good news side of things, however, it doesn’t seem like the Colts suffered any serious injuries during OTAs. T.Y. Hilton left practice early the other day, but that injury didn’t appear significant. And we learned last night that Hassan Ridgeway is recovering from an injury that has kept him out the past few weeks, though we don’t know when it occurred, what it is, or how long he’ll be out. Overall, however, the Colts emerged from OTAs about as healthy as they entered them, which is always a good thing.