Indianapolis Colts Early August Scouting Report
Roster: The biggest move that was made in the last few weeks was the claiming of RB D'Onta Foreman off waivers by the Texans. According to the Texans, he was physically A-OK from his 2017 Achilles rupture, but was simply not working hard enough. That doesn’t seem like that attitude is gonna fly with a guy like Frank Reich, so the fact they snapped him up spoke volumes about the seemingly minor injury to backup RB Spencer Ware. Ware was nursing an ankle injury that was downplayed, then suddenly he was going to have surgery and be out a month, then he was placed on PUP which would have him out at least until week 7! It is believed that he is seeking an injury settlement from the team so he went from being an interesting sleeper and handcuff to being unemployed and undraftable. Foreman on the other hand immediately becomes the fastest AND biggest back on the roster and should be the clear handcuff to RB Marlon Mack. The only other moves made were a slew of guys shuttling off the back end of the 90-man camp roster, and unlikely to have any bearing on the team at all come September.
Injuries: Obviously the Ware issue was discussed above but everyone only wants to talk about the calf injury to QB Andrew Luck. The team is still insisting that it is no big deal and that they are simply being ultra-conservative with the key to the franchise. I tend to believe that since they underplayed his shoulder injury in 2017 and it became a public relations nightmare that they are surely not going to risk again. The most recent report has him resting through the weekend and being reevaluated for participation on Tuesday. PK Adam Vinatieri had a minor knee injury that has held him out of a few practices as well as the preseason opener. Like Luck, they said it is no big deal – and quite frankly, the 24 year veteran needs no practice or training camp and it is better that he stays fresh. Two of the top rookies – WR Parris Campbell and LB Ben Banogu – have missed time with hamstring strains and are each day-to-day; BAnogu returned to practice on Friday, though. Likewise, projected starters DE Jabaal Sheard (knee), TE Eric Ebron (foot/ankle) and OC Ryan Kelly (shoulder) have all been held out of recent practices with Sheard’s injury being the only one for which the team has expressed concern over his availability for the season opener.
Preseason play: It is hard to draw any conclusions from any preseason opener. Mildly injured guys all sit, as do key cogs to the team…and game plans are vanilla and minimal. However, some observations may be made. The offensive line (and consequently, the running game) was terrible, Yes, a few top starters were out but the rest of the line depth did not perform well collectively or individually. The run game therefore was abysmal and a non-factor. And for as bad as they were in run blocking, their pass protection was even more sketchy. For a unit that was poised to be a difference maker and possessing some depth, they did not show the cohesiveness one might hope. 3rd string QB Chad Kelly looked good against a cadre of camp fodder defensive players, but that might only delay his inevitable release. The only real bright spots were the play of some of the young receivers fighting for the final roster spots (WR Deon Cain and WR Daurice Fountain), and a few of the younger guys that will be part of the rotation on defense (DE Carroll Phillips and rookie SS Khari Willis). Undrafted rookie PK Cole Hedlund probably earned himself a shot at a job in 2019 somewhere else that doesn’t have a HOF kicker on the roster; he went 3-for-3 on FGs and hit his only PAT, and the first one was a longer one in a 2-minute situation after the opposing coach tried to ice him.
The team surely has a lot to work on before the season opener against the Chargers, but the main thing is to get the starters back in the lineup and ready to go. Hard to say much more after an ugly, bland game without most of the ley pieces on the field. There will be more to say in a few weeks after the 3rd preseason game for sure. I will be back in a few weeks to review the status of the team after that crucial 3rd preseason game, and to look ahead to the 2019 season opener. Until then, I wish you good luck in your fantasy drafts!
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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