WESTFIELD, Ind. — After two days of joint practices at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind., on Wednesday and Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts will host the Cleveland Browns for both teams' second preseason game of the 2019 season on Saturday.
Here's everything you need to know to gear up for the game.
- Saturday, Aug. 17, at 4 p.m. ET
- Indianapolis; Lucas Oil Stadium
- TV: FOX59 (WXIN) and NFL Network — Greg Rakestraw (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color) and Larra Overton (sideline)
- To find out what games will be on in your area, check here.
- Radio: WFNI "1070 The Fan" and WLHK "HANK FM" — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Jim Sorgi (color) and Jeffrey Gorman (sideline)
- Colts lead, 15-14 (2-2 in the playoffs), and have won eight of the last nine matchups. In the preseason, the Colts lead, 6-2.
- Last game — Week 3 of 2017. Colts won, 31-28. The Colts won the last preseason matchup in 2013, 27-6.
- HC Frank Reich
- OC Nick Sirianni
- DC Matt Eberflus
- STC Bubba Ventrone
- HC Freddie Kitchens
- OC Todd Monken
- DC Steve Wilks
- STC Mike Priefer
KEY NEW FACES
- WR Odell Beckham Jr.
- S Morgan Burnett
- RB Kareem Hunt
- G Eric Kush
- DT Sheldon Richardson
- LB Sione Takitaki
- ED Olivier Vernon
- CB Greedy Williams
OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
- Overall, this was a pretty quiet offseason for the Colts for a change. It was about building onto and shaping the current roster rather than shaking things up or making sweeping changes.
- Former starting receivers Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman both departed in free agency, and veterans Mike Mitchell and Al Woods also were not re-signed by the team. Offensive lineman Matt Slauson retired following a 10-year career.
- The Colts did do two big things through acquisitions, and that was to add dynamic playmaking on offense in the form of wide receivers Parris Campbell and Devin Funchess, and they added a ton of speed on defense with Ben Banogu, Bobby Okereke and E.J. Speed.
- The Browns technically moved on from some of their coaching staff during the 2018 season, but the staff was solidified this offseason as Freddie Kitchens put his hires into place. The Browns let go of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley after eight games, as defensive coordinator Gregg Williams filled in as interim head coach and Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator. Kitchens was then hired as the head coach this offseason and brought in Todd Monken and Steve Wilks as his coordinators.
- Cleveland had arguably the NFL's most noteworthy offseason, bringing in names like wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Kareem Hunt on offense as well as edge defender Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson on defense.
- There were some significant player departures as well this offseason, as the Browns dealt edge defender Emmanuel Ogbah, safety Jabrill Peppers and guard Kevin Zeitler in trades.
STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH
- Starters vs. Starters — Earlier this week, Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters the team's starters will play "probably about a quarter" on Saturday. That's typically the case for most teams in the second preseason game, so we should see many of the Colts' and Browns' starters going head to head for the first quarter. As to who all will play or not is anybody's guess, but there's a lot you can observe by seeing the closest thing to regular season football as can be for about a quarter during the preseason.
- Colts' Run Game — The Colts' offense wasn't able to get much going on the ground last week against the Buffalo Bills. They ran for 105 yards, but quarterback Chad Kelly accounted for more than half of that in just two carries. Reich mentioned after the Bills game that the run game being something that they need to improve, so we'll see how the running backs and any designed quarterback runs pan out on Saturday against Cleveland.
- The QB3 Race — With Jacoby Brissett taking all of the first-team reps in Andrew Luck's absence, there has been quite the battle brewing between Kelly and Phillip Walker to see who can be "the guy" behind Brissett. By the time the regular season rolls around, it could be a battle for a practice squad spot. Walker has been the incumbent, going into his third season with the team, but Kelly has the hype and notoriety. Both players have progressed throughout camp and have clear strengths, so this is likely a battle that goes down to the wire. Offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni commented on the battle earlier this week: "Yeah, they know they're in a competition. Philip and Chad know they're in a competition together. Early in camp we were rotating the periods and felt like Phil had a little advantage. Phil started taking them and now we are back to rotating again. So they're competing, they're competing. Chad played a really good game, he really did. Phil knows he wants to play better and Chad played a really good game. He made a lot of plays out there sometimes when they weren't even available to make. He was good improvising."
- Colts' Defensive Rookies — There isn't a Colts' defensive rookie draft pick that hasn't made some noise at some point in camp. Between Ben Banogu, Gerri Green, Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed, Marvell Tell III, Khari Willis and Rock Ya-Sin — and even undrafted guys like Sterling Shippy and Shakial Taylor — all of them have shown growth and reason for optimism moving forward. The Browns have a very talented offense with plenty of depth, so they'll have a good opportunity to continue stacking good days when it comes to Saturday's game.
- Colts' Wide Receiver Depth — This has been one of the most notable, fun Colts wide receiver battles in recent memory, but it has carried over into the actual preseason games. You have some established vets like T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess making plays along with other dependable veterans in Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal proving their worth, but the younger guys like Deon Cain, Daurice Fountain, Krishawn Hogan and Marcus Johnson have all had an excellent camp and are going to force the coaching staff to make some excruciating decisions come cut-down day. "It's really a flat line right now. Everybody is literally on the same page because everybody is out there competing and making plays and stuff like that," Cain said this week. "I don't really try to buy into it too much because I just have to focus on doing my job. I'm pretty sure everything will fall into place. As of right now, I'm excited with these guys right now. I've never been around so much talent with these guys and seeing how these guys come out to practice and work every day – it's great. It's a great thing."
- Colts TEs vs. Browns LBs/Ss — Between Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, Mo Alie-Cox and Ross Travis, the Colts tight end room can throw the kitchen sink at opposing defenses. The Browns also have some very talented back seven defenders who can match up with the Colts in Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey, Mack Wilson, Damarious Randall and Morgan Burnett.
- Colts OTs vs. Browns EDs — Myles Garrett is a physical specimen and can give any NFL offensive tackle the business on any day. However, Olivier Vernon poses his own challenges to an offensive line as well as someone who can rush the passer and defend the run. Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith get some really good on-the-job training in these matchups.
- Colts Interior OL vs. Browns Interior DL — We're unlikely to see Quenton Nelson on Saturday as he recovers from an ankle injury, but the likes of Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Josh Andrews get their own tall task against Cleveland's Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi.
- Colts LBs vs. Browns RBs — The Browns might have the league's scariest one-two punch at running back in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, so seeing them square off with the Colts' linebackers (one of the roster's deepest groups) is going to be an excellent show to watch. It continues as Dontrel Hilliard enters the game for the Browns and the Colts' depth linebackers get to go after him in the run and passing game.
- Colts CBs vs. Browns WRs — Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Jaelen Strong... from start to finish, the Browns have a talented group of receivers to square up the Colts' incredibly deep squad of cornerbacks. We'll get to see if guys like Quincy Wilson, Ya-Sin, Tell III and Taylor can continue building on their already-improved play this summer.
Since official pregame injury reports are not required until the regular season, these are simply players who have been declared to be out indefinitely, for a period of time beyond this game or have missed some practice recently. Whether or not they will play is not yet known.
- WR Parris Campbell (hamstring), WR Penny Hart (hamstring), QB Andrew Luck (calf/ankle), G Quenton Nelson (ankle), DE Jabaal Sheard (knee), K Adam Vinatieri (knee), RB Jordan Wilkins (foot)
- WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hip), WR Antonio Callaway (ankle), CB T.J. Carrie (hamstring), TE Seth DeValve (concussion), OL Kyle Kalis (concussion), DT Devaroe Lawrence (undisclosed), TE David Njoku (knee), DE Jarrell Owens (groin), DT Brian Price (concussion), WR Damion Ratley (hamstring), LB Sione Takitaki (undisclosed), DE Chad Thomas (neck), CB Tavierre Thomas (hamstring)
- (Retractable roof stadium) Cloudy, 20 percent chance of precipitation, temperature in the mid-80s°F, wind from SW at 8 mph
- Head referee: Scott Novak (6 years). Click here to see all referee assignments for preseason Week 2.
- Favorite: Colts (-3.0)
- Over/Under: 43.0
PRESEASON STATS LEADERS
- Passing — QB Chad Kelly (121 yards)
- Rushing — QB Chad Kelly (53 yards)
- Receiving — WR Daurice Fountain (63 yards)
- Touchdowns — QB Chad Kelly (1)
- Tackles — LB E.J. Speed (6)
- Sacks — DE Carroll Phillips (2.0)
- Interceptions — N/A
- Passing — QB Garrett Gilbert (135 yards)
- Rushing — RB D'Ernest Johnson (23 yards)
- Receiving — WR Rashard Higgins (98 yards)
- Touchdowns — WR Rashard Higgins, WR D.J. Montgomery, LB Mack Wilson (1)
- Tackles — S J.T. Hassell (5)
- Sacks — CB Juston Burris, DT Devaroe Lawrence, S Tigie Sankoh (1)
- Interceptions — LB Mack Wilson (2)
PRESEASON TEAM STATS
- Total offense — 16th (314.0)
- Scoring offense — 22nd (16.0 PPG)
- Passing offense — 17th (209.0 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-10th (2)
- Running offense — 13th (105.0 YPG)
- Third down offense — Tied-26th (25th)
- Red zone offense — N/A
- Total defense — 23rd (381.0 YPG)
- Scoring defense — Tied-18th (24.0 PPG)
- Passing defense — 18th (218.0 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-8th (3)
- Running defense — 30th (163.0 YPG)
- Third down defense — 22nd (47%)
- Red zone defense — N/A
- Time of possession — 17th (29:59)
- Turnover differential — 11th (+1)
- Total offense — 4th (417.0 YPG)
- Scoring offense — Tied-6th (30.0 PPG)
- Passing offense — 3rd (327.0 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-10th (2)
- Running offense — 19th (90.0 YPG)
- Third down offense — Tied-19th (43%)
- Red zone offense — N/A
- Total defense — 8th (271.0 YPG)
- Scoring defense — Tied-5th (10.0 PPG)
- Passing defense — 11th (189.0 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-8th (3)
- Running defense — Tied-9th (82.0 YPG)
- Third down defense — Tied-17th (44%)
- Red zone defense — N/A
- Time of possession — 15th (30:10)
- Turnover differential — 6th (+2)
NOTES AND QUOTES
- Reich on the players finally being able to go against someone else in practice: "No doubt. As you said, not only different bodies but at this point in camp and OTAs, they know what we are doing. We know what they are doing – offense, defense. So you get in a setting like this and it kind of evens out a little bit. I think that adds an air of confidence to it like, 'Hey, we have our advantage back. We have our advantage back. They don't know what we are doing. They haven't seen this 1,000 times like we have going up against each other.' So it's going to be a lot of fun."
- "Probably about a quarter. Probably about a quarter. A little bit more than they played this last time," Reich said about how long the starters will play Saturday. "Right now, the plan, the general plan, is for everybody to play. There may be an exception to that, we may at the last minute choose to make an exception to that, but for right now, the plan is for everybody to play." Regarding Nelson's availability, Reich said, "Right, yeah. I mean, it's highly unlikely that we'll play Quenton this week." Several significant players did not play against the Bills last week. "Yeah, those guys who didn't play the first game: get them a series or two just to feel it out there in a game situation," Reich said.
- Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens on Beckham Jr.'s status for Saturday: "Should I evaluate that question or just answer it for you? We have not decided yet. He probably could play, though."
- Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on the Colts' defense after the first day of joint practices: "They have some good players. Seeing (Darius) Leonard out there, Malik Hooker, I played him in college. He used me in college. They have good guys. Margus Hunt up front. They have a good scheme. They play really hard. You see the way they practice, they finish every play. It is fun to compete against them."