Despite referring to it as the “dress rehearsal” week for the team leading up to the Colts’ week three preseason game against the Bears, head coach Frank Reich has now said the Colts will rest their starters for the contest.
Frank Reich opens his presser today by saying he has had a change of heart and they will not play most of the starters in this game. Wow.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 21, 2019
The coach cited a change of heart and said he and Bears head coach Matt Nagy had exchanged texts regarding starters getting time and that helped prompt his decision. Nagy has confirmed that the Bears won’t play their starters either.
Frank Reich says he and Matt Nagy exchanged texts this week about playing starters on Saturday.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) August 21, 2019
Reich said the Bears not playing their starters “pushed him over the edge” to also resting many frontline guys. https://t.co/EFWFFkTSJw
This has been a growing trend in the NFL as teams look to protect their players and avoid critical injuries to starters prior to the start of the regular season.
For those fighting for depth spots on the 53-man roster this is good news. It means more playing time for guys like Zach Pascal, Krishawn Hogan, and Marcus Johnson, who are fighting for depth spots at wide receiver. It also means we will likely see a lot of Hale Hentges and Ross Travis as they battle for a tight end spot.
In terms of the product on the field, though, the process is less exciting. We are all chomping at the bit for regular season football to be under way. While avoiding major injuries to starters is great, and most fans likely support the premise, slogging through two more arduous preseason games without starting quality players on the field is as appealing as doing a belly flop off a high dive after sustaining severe sunburn.
What this ultimately means is that very few know just what this Colts team will actually look like come week one. Obviously much of that will depend on Andrew Luck’s availability, but even assuming he is ready to go, whatever changes Frank Reich has made in terms of scheme and personnel, will remain a mystery until the regular season begins.