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Colts Training Camp Notes: Day 6 Brings Annual Night Practice

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

The Indianapolis Colts held their annual training camp night practice on Saturday in front of a crowd of 7,000 fans at Warren Central High School. A normally much more raucous crowd had to temper their expectations this time around with a team led by quarterbacks Scott Tolzien, Stephen Morris and Phillip Walker rather than Andrew Luck. Speaking of Luck, let’s get these notes kicked off with one about the franchise quarterback.

  • Luck made his first practice appearance since the open session at Lucas Oil Stadium on July 30. He didn’t do anything in practice on the 30th, but he was there. On Saturday, not only did Luck physically participate in some rehab at practice for the first time, but he also donned a red non-contact jersey for the first time this year. While Luck did not throw or participate in any team drills, he did side work with the other injured players.
  • Other players who were held out of practice: RB Josh Ferguson (brace on left wrist), WR Donte Moncrief, WR Harvey Binford, TE Erik Swoope, OL Jack Mewhort, OL Joe Haeg, OLB Deiontrez Mount, S Malik Hooker.
  • C Ryan Kelly, DL Johnathan Hankins and OLB Tarell Basham all left the field at one point, but all three returned. Hankins’ issue looked the worst at the time, as he collided with a blocker early in 11-on-11’s and rolled on the ground for a bit before being helped up. Following practice, head coach Chuck Pagano said it was an ankle injury and that they would know more on Sunday.
  • With Tolzien as the starter, the offense obviously doesn’t have that same feel. Throws are shorter and often later than they should be. At one point, with OLB John Simon constantly harassing him, Tolzien threw a shallow pass that was tipped and nearly intercepted by DL Henry Anderson.
  • Rookie undrafted RB Dalton Crossan had a few nice carries. Those are always hard to judge when you are not getting tackled, but they looked like they would have been productive runs in-game.
  • Recent free-agent signee RB Troymaine Pope is a very physical runner. There were a few times where it looked like a fight was breaking out at the end of run plays, but it actually was just Pope continuing to try and rip through the scrum and move the ball.
  • This is no news flash, but WR Chester Rogers’ moves while running routes are vicious. In one-on-ones, it was not an uncommon sight to see Rogers create huge separation, even against the like of experienced veterans like Vontae Davis and Darius Butler.
  • Rookie undrafted WR Bug Howard was showcased by fellow undrafted rookie Walker. I only counted one drop by Howard, who had a nice night of practice overall.
  • He may be a totally raw rookie DL, but offensive linemen already know that it’s a group effort to keep Grover Stewart at bay. At the beginning of 11-on-11’s, we counted three or four offensive linemen on one play coming together to stop him.
  • As previously mentioned, Simon constantly was in the backfield -- run plays and especially as a pass-rusher. If they were allowed to hit the QB in practice, Tolzien would have been in trouble.
  • Second-round pick CB Quincy Wilson struggled in the early portion of practice with one-on-one drills. Being a physical corner, he was not allowed to jam his opponent at the line, so he would often get beaten off of the snap and was not able to recover by the time the ball got deep downfield. Later in practice, he made up for it by intercepting Morris in the end zone.
  • ILB Luke Rhodes still is seeing work with both the linebacker group and special teams group as the long snapper.
  • The Colts finished off practice in heart-warming fashion. Ten-year-old Michael Dieter, who has had eight heart surgeries in his short life, took a hand-off on the final play of the day and scored a touchdown. He was then swarmed by the team and hoisted onto their shoulders, cheering. Zak Keefer of The Star had a great piece on Micheal.