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2017 Colts Training Camp: Key injury updates and players who are turning heads

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Colts have made it through their first full week of training camp and have earned a day off on Monday. As with any training camp, these practices have given players the opportunity to distinguish themselves as they work toward a spot on the final roster. It has also resulted in some bumps and bruises to key players that we will continue to monitor.

Key Injury Updates

Andrew Luck

It has been widely discussed that quarterback Andrew Luck has been on the sidelines for practices on Saturday and Sunday. While this can only be seen a positive development in his rehabilitation, it still does not mean that he is close to ready to take the field at this point.

Until Luck is seen throwing on the sidelines, this will likely continue to be the case. Still, it is good for the team’s leader to be on the sidelines with his teammates and get a live look at the offensive weapons he’ll have at his disposal in 2017.

Johnathan Hankins

It was first reported on Saturday that Hankins went down while making a play against Frank Gore, he collided with undrafted rookie TE Darrell Daniels. He was slow to get up and required help but did return to the field later in practice. On Sunday, though, he showed up to practice in a walking boot on his right ankle. Following practice, head coach Chuck Pagano was able to clarify that Hankins had an MRI and only has a mild ankle sprain. He is day-to-day.

Donte Moncrief

Moncrief suffered a mild AC Joint sprain in his shoulder during 1-on-1 drills on Friday. He missed most of Friday’s practice and all of the last two practices to allow the shoulder to heal and has been listed as day-to-day. The latest updates from the Colts is that he is healing well and that they hope to have him back at practice on Tuesday.

Other Players Missing Practice

At this point there has been no reason given for Joe Haeg and Erik Swoope to miss consecutive practices. Josh Ferguson has missed back-to-back practices with an undisclosed injury. Jack Mewhort missed practice on Saturday but took the field on Sunday. Phillip Dorsett and Tevaun Smith (groin) also did not practice on Sunday.

Players Making Noise in Camp

Malik Hooker

Rookie safety Malik Hooker has started to ramp up the impact he is having in practices. He intercepted his first pass on an errant throw from undrafted rookie quarterback Phillip Walker during Sunday’s practice. He has continuously been noticed for his considerable range, even in red zone drills, and has batted away passes as well. The Colts have brought him along slowly but it appears that he is showing that defensive coordinator Ted Monachino’s early impressions were founded.

“The ball production out of this kid, in a lot less reps, is very comparable to our other safeties, with more reps.”

Quincy Wilson

Like Hooker, Wilson has been slowly worked into an increasing number of defensive reps, specifically with the first and second teams. He has continued to impress onlookers with Zak Keefer taking note on Sunday.

This is following up from a practice on Saturday where Wilson picked off a pass in the end zone. On Friday, Stephen Holder noted that he batted down a pass against Aiken but was later burned by Chester Rogers. Given that he joined the team with some concerns about being in the best shape physically, it is a positive sign that he is making meaningful strides during each practice.

John Simon

No team could be more desperate for positive news from its outside linebackers than the Indianapolis Colts. There has not been a great deal of discussion about pass rushers standing out and that has left fans to wonder whether free agent additional Jabaal Sheard or John Simon have not been living up to expectations. On Saturday’s practice that changed.

While he will need to stand out more often than just one practice, it is at least a positive sign to hear that he had a solid day of practice and was wreaking havoc on the offense.

Jabaal Sheard

It is also worth noting that following Sunday’s practice, Chuck Pagano has positive things to say about Sheard.

If Sheard’s early work ethic is any sign of things to come, Pagano might be onto something. No player has spent more time singling out Robert Mathis for his opinion and coaching expertise than Sheard.

While it will take live reps against other NFL teams to see if the hard work is paying off, it is a good sign for a player who created some concerns in free agency due to a lack of consistency in New England that earned him a spot on a bench for a couple of games.

Jon Bostic and Antonio Morrison

One of the biggest question-marks heading into the new season in Indianapolis was who would start at inside linebacker. At this point in the process, Bostic and Morrison appears to be the front-runners to start inside. This would potentially constitute a huge leap for Morrison in particular, who many thought might struggle to even make the roster. (I had a hunch that he might be surprise people)

Defensive Coordinator Ted Monachino discussed the two playing together and why they are seeing the field so much with the first team.

You love everything about Antonio from a football character standpoint. If you’re talking tough, effort-filled, great leadership, great communicator – those are things that we talk about in terms of football character. He’s got all of that. Working with Jon, you’ve got two guys that don’t only communicate well with the guys around them, but even more importantly they communicate well together. Any time that Jon sees Antonio has got an issue, Jon will make the right call to get Antonio the help he needs and vice versa. If there is something that Jon misses formationally, Antonio spots it right away. They work very well together. All of our inside backers are at the place right now where they know that with the depth chart, there is not a lot of separation, so they know that no matter who they are out there with, that other dude has got to play well or it’s going to be hard for anybody to play well.

While the competition is ongoing throughout camp, Bostic and Morrison have created some space for themselves at the top of the depth chart and have both received heaps of praise from Stampede Blue’s Matt Danely.

Al Woods and Grover Stewart

The Colts added four defensive linemen over the off-season to help compete with returning players Anderson, Ridgeway, Langford, and Parry. The returns from these new players have been very positive so far. In particular, free agent additions Al Woods and Johnathan Hankins have been working very well together and have received steady attention for a very strong showing in training camp.

The surprise candidate out of that group Grover Stewart who was widely considered a red shirt candidate for his first season after playing against lower competition in college and with a defensive line depth chart that was starting to look awfully crowded. While Stewart may not start right away, he may play his way into a serious rotational role as a rookie.

Marlon Mack and Chester Rogers

Perhaps no two offensive players have demanded the attention at training camp more than Marlon Mack and Chester Rogers. Mack, in particular, earned some extremely high praise from coach Chuck Pagano following Saturday’s practice.

Matt Danely goes into greater detail on Mack, including observations all the way back to August 1st.

As for Rogers, he entered training camp as a second-year former undrafted free agent who had a good chance to make the roster. Many thought he would probably be a lock with his return ability from last season and that he might fill out the depth chart behind former first round draft pick Phillip Dorsett and veteran free agent addition Kamar Aiken.

Rogers has had other plans. writer Kevin Bowen named Rogers the clear winner of the third receiving spot on the depth chart all the way back on August 2nd, after only three training camp practices.

What is coming up next?

Here is a full schedule of remaining training camp practices:

Tuesday Aug. 8 through Friday, Aug. 11th (Thursday and Friday against the Lions) and Monday Aug. 14 through Thursday Aug. 17.