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Keys from Colts Tuesday practice: Quincy Wilson receives high grades against Detroit

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts-Training Camp Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

POSITIVE MOMENTUM FOR INJURIES

Heading into training camp this week, we discussed that there are a lot of players who have been held out of practice due to injury. That number started to really swell and the majority of those players are widely considered front-runners to start or at least make the 53-man roster.

The good news is that many of those players returned to the practice field on Tuesday. Rookie running back Marlon Mack, guard Joe Haeg, defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins, insider linebacker Jon Bostic, and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett all returned to the practice field.

The only new addition to the injury list was Malik Hooker who was held out of practice due to a minor shoulder injury suffered in the game against Detroit. Head coach Chuck Pagano downplayed the severity and indicated that he will be returning to the field soon.

Also, while not new, Erik Swoope was seen on the practice field. Not surprisingly he was in crutches after undergoing a minor knee surgery — likely a scope — but he seemed in good spirits. As we mentioned yesterday, the recovery timetable from this kind of surgery can range from 2 - 6 weeks depending on the person and how much cleaning up had to be done.

TJ GREEN MOVES TO CORNER

While we discussed that TJ Green took some reps with the first team at cornerback it warrants further discussion after some of the observations made yesterday.

First, Stephen Holder reported that Green did a fine job for his first day taking reps at corner.

Second, it has been reported that Green is taking the opportunity to switch positions very seriously and that he was visibly happier during his interview with the media.

Finally, while Green has started getting some reps at corner there has been some frustration expressed that moving him takes reps away from rookies Nate Hairston and Quincy Wilson. George Bremer should take away at least some of those concerns as Green was replaced by Quincy Wilson to take first team reps after the initial series.

This has been the case throughout all training camp, that players have been rotating in and out to receive first team reps, so there shouldn’t be anything disruptive to the rookies after this switch.

QUINCY WILSON RECEIVES OVERSTATED FAN CRITICISM AFTER FIRST GAME

The fan response after the Colts lost to the Detroit Lions 24-10 in the preseason opener has been justifiably negative. As we’ve already discussed, the game was difficult to watch and there is still clearly a lot of work to do. However, there are very high expectations for second round corner Quincy Wilson and he got a very public greeting to life in the NFL by giving up a couple of receptions to Lions receiver Kenny Golladay, including a touchdown.

It is easy to jump on these plays and reach the conclusion that Wilson “got abused” but doing so is ignoring important details. The first detail is that Wilson had very tight but legal coverage on Golladay that made the catches difficult. To Golladay’s credit, he caught those passes and one of them in particular was extremely impressive, but he did not abuse Wilson on those plays.

The second detail is that, given the circumstances, for Wilson to play such tight coverage against the 6’4” 213 lbs. third round receiver who has been the darling of Lions training camp should be seen as positive overall. What he failed to do was get his eyes around to make a play on the football. If he does that, these passes are both batted away. Polishing his technique in coverage at the end of plays is what practice is all about.

Wilson is a rookie corner playing against the highest level of competition of his career, regardless of whether the player across from him is a rookie or not, and he had tight coverage every time he was targeted. Pro Football Focus graded all of the Colts corners in coverage and Wilson graded highest on the team.