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Practice Nine Training Camp Notebook: Moncrief Returns; Colts Lighten Up With Lions Coming To Town

Posted Aug 9, 2017

Intro: Wednesday, August 9 was the ninth practice of the 2017 Training Camp. The next practice is Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:40 a.m. in a joint session with the Detroit Lions.

INDIANAPOLIS — One day after perhaps the most physical training camp practice so far — one that included a six-play live tackling period — the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday took their foot off the gas just a little bit.

With the Detroit Lions coming to town Thursday and Friday for two fully-padded joint practice sessions, the Colts lightened things up on Wednesday, wearing only helmets, shorts and shells in a shorter-than-usual period.

What were the takeaways from the Colts’ ninth practice of the 2017 Training Camp?

PRACTICE TAKEAWAYS

1. There were two very welcomed sights at Wednesday’s practice — the first being the return, albeit not in a full capacity, of wide receiver Donte Moncrief. Moncrief, who was having as solid a training camp as any other Colts player, had suffered a minor shoulder injury late last week, forcing him to miss four straight days of practice. On Wednesday, however, he emerged from the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center and warmed up and went through team drills, though he was pretty limited throughout the rest of practice as he continues to get back to full strength.

2. Also encouraging for the team on Wednesday was the fact that defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins’ left ankle did not feature a boot for the first time since Sunday, the day after he suffered a mild ankle sprain early during the team’s open practice at Warren Central High School. Head coach Chuck Pagano initially listed Hankins as “day-to-day,” so the fact that he is able to ditch the boot is likely further proof that the big man up front for the Indy defense should be good as new soon.

3. We heard defensive coordinator Ted Monachino rave about rookie safety Malik Hooker’s instincts in the defensive backfield, but we also saw a good example of them on Wednesday. Hooker, who seemingly continues to get increased reps with the No. 1 defense, was backpedaling in the secondary, scanning the entire field when he suddenly broke to his left to cover a darting Jack Doyle, who was attempting to make a deep catch over the middle. But Hooker, the first-round pick out of Ohio State, made sure J.D. did not do any damage, knocking the ball out of his grasp before they hit the ground after undercutting the route.

It was the second straight day Hooker made a highlight pass breakup, as he made a similar play on wide receiver Chester Rogers on Tuesday.

OTHER PRACTICE MUSINGS

• The Colts used much of their time throughout Wednesday’s practice working on various special teams drills and team runs. The team has been fortunate to have some solid individual special teamers in recent seasons, but they really take their punt and kickoff drills seriously under coordinator Tom McMahon and his staff.

• The Colts’ offense will assuredly use their two joint practices with the Lions to work on a multitude of scenarios, but Wednesday’s practice showed that they might want to spend some more time on plays from deep in their own territory. With their backs pinned up against the wall, the quarterbacks had a tough time connecting with receivers on Wednesday, launching a few potentially-dangerous overthrows. But credit the Indy defense with making plays, too.

• Cornerback Nate Hairston continues to impress. On Wednesday, he got in some work with the No. 1 defense, giving head coach Chuck Pagano an even better look at the fifth-round pick out of Temple. Hairston could be in contention to win a role as the team’s primary slot cornerback, but that competition remains “wide open,” Pagano said.

Kamar Aiken showed off a nice maneuver on the first play of 11-on-11, getting the corner to bite on a double move and breaking free wide open over the top and hauling in a big play from quarterback Scott Tolzien. While Rogers, Phillip Dorsett and even guys like Bug Howard have had nice camps, absolutely do not count out Aiken and his proven production at the wide receiver position for Indy.

• Colts great linebacker Gary Brackett made an appearance at Wednesday’s practice, the day after Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was spotted at the West 56th Street facility. Brackett collected 707 tackles with four sacks, 23 passes defensed, 12 interceptions (one he returned for a touchdown) in his nine NFL seasons, each of which were spent in Indy.

TWEET OF THE DAY



CAMP SCHEDULE

Thursday, August 10 – Joint practice with Detroit Lions (full pads)

9:30-11:40 a.m. – Practice

Friday, August 11 – Joint practice with Detroit Lions (full pads)

9:30-11:40 a.m. – Practice

Sunday, August 13

Preseason Game 1 – Indianapolis vs. Detroit – 1:30 p.m.

Monday, August 14

Players’ Day Off

Tuesday, August 15

1:45-4:05 p.m. – Practice

Wednesday, August 16

8:00-10:45 a.m. – Practice

Thursday, August 17

8:00-10:45 a.m. – Practice




The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.
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