Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich announced that quarterback Carson Wentz, left guard Quenton Nelson and center Ryan Kelly are returning to practice on Monday. Reich mentioned all three players will be involved on a limited basis, but their returns still three weeks away from the regular season opener versus the Seattle Seahawks is an incredibly good sign.
Wentz and Nelson both underwent foot procedures for the same injury three weeks ago, which was originally expected to have a 5-12 week timetable for return. It’s fair to say that both are right on track for the 5-week mark as they ramp back up into practices in late August.
Kelly has been sidelined since early in training camp due to an elbow injury. Kelly’s return was to be expected, because he was really getting involved on the sideline late last week, snapping to injured left tackle Eric Fisher during team drills.
It’s looking like the Colts will be 100 percent healthy outside of the Achilles injuries for Fisher and second-round pick Dayo Odeyingbo before the season opener at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 12. For Wentz and Nelson to be back this early means the surgeries went much better than expected, clearing even the lowest bars at record time.
With Julien Davenport seemingly taking control of the temporary starting left tackle position, here’s the projected starting lineup for Indy’s offense in Week 1:
OL = Julien Davenport, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Braden Smith
QB = Carson Wentz
RB = Jonathan Taylor
WR = T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal
TE = Jack Doyle
Now, with three key starters back in the fold for Indianapolis late in training camp, preparation for Seattle should be a full-go very soon. It’s time to start analyzing a fully healthy Colts offense moving forward, sans Fisher.