We’re now two practices in to the second full week of practice and today starts two days of head-to-head practices with the Detroit Lions before Sunday’s preseason match-up. There have been a number of reports out of camp that build upon themes from last week and some new reports about players that have not received a lot of attention to this point. We will break down the news below, including links from our daily live Twitter feed.
The Colts release numerous players including DE Kendall Langford
Yesterday the Colts waived-injured wide receivers Tevaun Smith and Chris Briggs. Later in the evening, the team announced that Kendall Langford was released due to a failed physical. In order to fill the missing spots, the Colts brought in wide receivers Valdez Showers and Brian Riley, and running back George Winn.
When Chris Ballard said he'd be relentlessly digging for depth, he wasn't kidding. Just signed WR Brian Riley to fill Langford's roster spot— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 10, 2017
Luck’s status continues to be a fluid situation
Luck has progressed in throwing program past 2 weeks, rebuilding motion, strength. #Colts don't want franchise QB skipping steps or rushing.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 9, 2017
The best news from Tom Pelissero is that Luck has been progressing in his throwing program over the last two weeks. No official word has come down suggesting that his throwing program includes footballs but “progressing” is better than not — or suffering a setback. As we’ve discussed here before, don’t expect anything legitimate on Luck’s status until he is fully cleared to take the field.
Safety TJ Green has started to generate some discussion
If you’ve had the expectation that TJ Green might not make the 53-man roster in 2017, some of Monachino’s comment might not support that idea. In fact, Stephen Holder wrote a story specifically about Green that included another key comment from Monachino.
“With him only being a safety for a short time, it takes some time,” defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said. “Those guys who play with instinct — Malik (Hooker) for instance is a very instinctual player — T.J. is just learning that side of the football. I’m sure when he was an offensive player, he had better instincts because he’d been that. But he’s getting better at that (on defense). And those little things — understanding leverage and knowing where his eyes should be — those things he’s made a great improvement in.”
Added to the defensive coordinator’s observations is that Stephen Holder has heard some rumblings that there may be some unique special teams potential in Green’s game as he continues to get things figured out on defense.
Another tidbit on TJ Green: they see some unique sp teams potential in him. Been getting a lot of work in kicking game. Something to watch.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 9, 2017
Henry Anderson has not missed practice and is back to 100 percent
No player generated more excitement for Colts fans on defense in 2015 than Henry Anderson. It appeared that the Colts had a legitimate DROY candidate who did nothing but improve throughout his entire rookie season as a starter. When he suffered a knee injury over halfway through the season, it doomed his 2016 campaign and he was not the same player. He could be a major impact player on the defensive line that has generated so much hype over the summer if he has rediscovered his swagger.
Zak Keefer wrote a story breaking down Anderson’s development in 2017 with some important comments from Anderson that may indicate that he’s on his way back.
“Certain movements would bother it,” Anderson said. “I didn’t want to go out there and put it in positions that hurt.”
His coaches noticed.
“A year ago, we didn’t baby him, necessarily, but I know that he was a little guarded in his approach,” said Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino. “Now he has no reservations about going full speed.”
It’s easy to tell.
Other injury updates
Donte Moncrief returned to practice on Wednesday. Johnathan Hankins did not return to practice but was seen on the practice field without a walking boot. More importantly, he would be cleared to play if it was a regular season game.
Hankins: "The ankle is fine. Just a mild sprain. If it was a real gameday situation, there would be no question I'd be able to play."— Derek Schultz (@Schultz975) August 9, 2017
Players who missed practice on Wednesday included WR Phillip Dorsett, LG Joe Haeg, CB Christopher Milton, LB Jon Bostic, TE Erik Swoope, RB Marlon Mack, and OLB Garrett Sickels. Additionally, RB Josh Ferguson left practice on Wednesday with trainers.
Players getting attention
The Colts signed future Olympic sprinter Marvin Bracy and we had the opportunity to get our first look at him. Here is a play before he chose to leave the gridiron the focus on running track.
For those wondering if Marvin Bracy can catch... this from his last football game, the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game pic.twitter.com/a6DLU23PF5— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 8, 2017
In case you are not sure if Bracy is taking his opportunity in Indianapolis seriously, it’s a good sign that he’s staying later to work with WR coach Sanjay Lal.
Well after practice, Marvin Bracy still on the field talking with WR coach Sanjay Lal. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) August 9, 2017
Reports out of camp on Tuesday included that Malik Hooker continues to get more reps with the first team, Bug Howard has started to get noticed, Robert Turbin has continued to show toughness in short-yardage (including in the teams first live hitting practice reps), Kamar Aiken made a nice move during practice on Wednesday to connect on a deep pass from Tolzien, T.Y. McGill has been taking the first-team reps in place of Hankins while he has been out, Le’Raven Clark has been getting positive attention for his performance in one-on-one pass rushing drills, and Nate Hairston got some first team reps at corner on Wednesday as well.
Finally, Kevin Bowen reported that head coach Chuck Pagano singled out Margus Hunt, Jeremiah George, Nate Hairston, and Malik Hooker for praise following Tuesday’s practice.
Colts first depth chart generates some responses
After the Colts released the team’s initial depth chart, Stephen Holder had some notable comments to make on some of the list’s surprises.
That being said, in some instances, the snaps definitely match the placement on the depth chart. Like Sean Spence, for instance.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 9, 2017
A guy I think will make plays this preseason is Grover Stewart. 4th rd pick from Albany St. Really good combo of strength and athleticism.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 8, 2017
Consistent with what we have learned from our own Matt Danely, it appears that Spence has failed to show anything to warrant a spot higher on the depth chart at this point in the off-season program. However, Quincy Wilson has been getting first team reps and almost certainly belongs at no lower than second string.
Also, adding credibility to Danely’s consistent reporting on Grover Stewart, Holder says he is a player to watch during the preseason.