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Colts unveil unofficial depth chart ahead of regular season opener against Jaguars

There’s no real surprises here for the Colts headed into Week 1, but there are a few tidbits to take note of.

Chicago Bears v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts revealed their first unofficial depth chart before the team’s regular season home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend:

There’s no real surprises here, but the biggest takeaways are:

  • Rookie Josh Downs has supplanted veteran Isaiah McKenzie for starting slot duties offensively. This seemed like an eventual foregone conclusion after Downs’s consistent standout performance throughout training camp and preseason. It was essentially solidified as a done deal once McKenzie was released but later re-signed to the 53-man roster for additional wideout depth.
  • Two recent signings, Ryan Hayes and Josh Sills, are listed as the primary backups at their positions of left tackle and right guard respectively. That being said, rookie Blake Freeland may actually be the top candidate to slide over and replace Bernhard Raimann, if needed.
  • Zack Moss is listed as the starter among running backs. When healthy, Moss, who’s recovering from a broken elbow and should be medically cleared soon, will presumably serve as the between-the-tackles/short yardage back. Meanwhile, both Deon Jackson and rookie Evan Hull seem poised to split scatback/pass-catching duties. There remains the continued ongoing saga of Jonathan Taylor’s status (PUP) too, who if/when does return, should nearly instantly assume workhorse duties again for Indianapolis.
  • Shaq Leonard is listed as the starter at the ‘Will’ linebacker spot, meaning he may be active for the team’s opener (although so is Zack Moss at running back, who may be at least another week or two away). Leonard recently participated in a non-contact practice jersey and remains in the league’s concussion protocol, but has reportedly been ‘progressing.’
  • Dallis Flowers and Darrell Baker Jr., both of whom had strong training camp and preseason showings, are the new starting outside cornerback pairing for the Colts. A duo of promising young rookies, JuJu Brents and Jaylon Jones, will be primarily backing them up right now.