Over halfway through training camp, these sessions are strong indicators for who is progressing and/or creating separation in certain position battles. If Wednesday’s session at Grand Park in Westfield was any indication for what’s to come, two names really stood out from the rest.
Quarterback Jacob Eason, who provided a strong NFL debut in preseason action against the Carolina Panthers, looks to have gained an immense amount of confidence. Over the last two days of camp practices, Eason has completed 19-of-25 pass attempts.
Sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger returned to practice on Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s session due to a non-COVID-related illness completing 12-of-20 attempts while being sacked three times.
Saturday’s second preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings will be a big litmus test to see if the battle between Eason and Ehlinger remains close or not. Ehlinger is expected to receive the starting reps, while Eason receives the second-team opportunities. If Eason continues his upward trajectory, it’s fair to say he could have the backup job behind Carson Wentz locked down.
Meanwhile, Kwity Paye returned to practice this week after a mild ankle sprain suffered less than a week ago. A great sight to see for the Colts’ first-round pick receiving important camp reps, because his NFL debut should be happing in Minnesota this weekend.
Paye was dominant on Wednesday recording three sacks, which were all against an Ehlinger-led unit. Paye’s special blend of power and burst off the line of scrimmage quickly established him as an immediate start on the Colts’ defensive line. So far, the transition from the University of Michigan to the NFL has been seamless for Paye.
Paye’s quick adjustment puts him in line to put up strong numbers during his rookie campaign playing alongside All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
With just over three weeks away from the regular season opener at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks, these training camp practices are so important to gleam information from. On Wednesday, Eason and Paye were the biggest winners.