WESTFIELD, Ind. — Today was was the final day — Day 16 — of the Indianapolis Colts' 2019 training camp practices at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind.
Here were some top takeaways from the day's session:
— The Colts had the Cleveland Browns in town for their second and final joint training camp practice heading into Saturday's preseason Week 2 game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Those who did not participate for Indy included wide receiver Penny Hart (hamstring), kicker Adam Vinatieri (knee), quarterback Andrew Luck (calf/ankle), wide receiver Parris Campbell (hamstring), running back Jordan Wilkins (foot), safety Clayton Geathers (injury not disclosed) and defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee).
— Guard Quenton Nelson, who had missed the last couple days of practice with an ankle injury, was able to return on Thursday, although the team mostly utilized Josh Andrews and Jake Eldrenkamp at his left guard spot during team periods. Head coach Frank Reich on Wednesday had said Nelson wouldn't likely play in Saturday's preseason game.
— Tough, tough moment today as wide receiver Daurice Fountain suffered a gruesome ankle injury early during an 11-on-11 drill. The field fell silent as Fountain was surrounded by trainers, coaches and teammates, and he received a large ovation as he was being carted away. Head coach Frank Reich said Fountain was being treated at a local hospital. Injuries are always a tough pill to swallow, but the timing of this injury to Fountain is downright cruel, as he had been putting in an excellent camp, led the team in receiving in its first preseason game and was putting himself in position to possibly win a job on the Week 1 roster.
— The Colts' pass catchers "won" 68 percent (23-of-34) of their red zone one-on-one reps against the Browns' defensive backs, with a win meaning the ball was caught or a flag was called on the defense. The officials on hand were keeping a close eye on the action, as Cleveland was flagged four different times. Here's how it played out: Terrance Mitchell def. Krishawn Hogan; Greedy Williams def. Zach Pascal; Marcus Johnson def. Robert Jackson; Eric Ebron def. Jermaine Whitehead (flag on the defense); Morgan Burnett def. Jack Doyle; Daurice Fountain def. Lenzy Pipkins; Chester Rogers def. Eric Murray; Donnie Lewis Jr. def. Jordan Veasy; Ashton Dulin def. Phillip Gaines; Sheldrick Redwine def. Mo Alie-Cox; Gabe Holmes def. unidentified Browns player; Roger Lewis def. Jhavonte Dean; Williams def. Devin Funchess; Hogan def. Mitchell (flag on the defense); Hale Hentges def. Burnett (flag on the defense); Funchess def. Pipkins; Johnson def. Jackson; Rogers def. Murray; Veasy def. Lewis Jr.; Pascal def. Gaines; Doyle def. Redwine; Whitehead def. Ebron; Lewis def. Lewis Jr.; Williams def. Fountain; Hogan def. Mitchell (flag on the defense); Holmes def. Mitchell; Christian Kirksey def. Alie Cox; Dulin def. Pipkins; Jackson def. Veasy; Rogers def. Murray; Hentges def. Mack Wilson; Pascal def. Gaines; Lewis def. Lewis Jr.; and Mitchell def. Hogan.
— In 1-on-1s pitting the Colts' defensive backs vs. the Browns pass catchers, the Browns came out on top, but the Colts fared pretty well compared to their Cleveland counterparts yesterday. The Browns' offense "won" 15 of the 28 (54 percent) reps. Here is how it broke down: Ishmael Hyman def. Pierre Desir; Malik Hooker def. Stephen Carlson; Quincy Wilson def. Jaelen Strong; Derrick Willies def. Jalen Collins; Demetrius Harris def. Khari Willis; D.J. Montgomery def. Kenny Moore II; Nate Hairston def. Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi; Mik'Quan Deane def. George Odum; Rock Ya-Sin def. Dorian Baker; Hyman def. Chris Milton; Strong def. Wilson; Matthias Farley def. Carlson; Willies def. Shakial Taylor; Montgomery def. Marvell Tell III; Rolan Milligan def. Harris; Collins def. Rashard Higgins; Baker def. Isaiah Langley; Derrick Kindred def. Deane; Milton def. Sheehy-Guiseppi; Moore II def. Strong; Carlson def. Isaiah Johnson; Willies def. Hairston; Harris def. Farley; Montgomery def. Ya-Sin; Desir def. Hyman; Wilson def. Baker; Willis def. Joe Kerridge and Carlson def. Odum.
— By many accounts, the Colts' defensive line was the big winner in its 1-on-1s against the Browns' offensive line yesterday. While it was more of a mixed bag on Thursday, the Colts had some standouts. We award wins and losses based on if the defender was able to get past the blocker upright in a reasonable time, or if the offensive player kept the defender at bay. Among those Colts who "won" multiple reps against Cleveland's offensive line today were Margus Hunt (two), Sterling Shippy (two), Grover Stewart (two) and Jihad Ward (two). There were also some great moves made in some wins. Ben Banogu and Al-Quadin Muhammad each won with a spin move, Ward won with a spin move and a bull rush, Hunt used a move we see often from him where he plants one fist into the chest of the blocker and drives them back with a bull rush. However, the best win of this series was by Dadi Nicolas, who struck Browns tackle Kendall Lamm so quickly and powerfully that it put Lamm on his back in an instant, which caused the Colts' linemen to erupt.
— After getting in a bit of a rhythm against the Browns on Wednesday, the Colts' offense, particularly its first unit, wasn't quite as sharp for the first half or so of Thursday's practice. In all, quarterback Jacoby Brissett was 12-for-20 in 11-on-11 action in a variety of situations; Chad Kelly completed 7-of-9 passes in 11-on-11s, while Phillip Walker had four completions across nine passing attempts.
— In 7-on-7 drills. all from the red zone, Brissett completed 3-of-6 passes, Kelly completed 6-of-7 and Walker completed 5-of-8.
— After struggling to get anything going to start 11-on-11s — Brissett was picked off by Browns cornerback Greedy Williams on his very first pass attempt — running back Jonathan Williams got things going a bit for the Indy offense with a nice, tough run off to the left side. Williams has put in a nice camp and showed out well in the team's preseason opener against the Bills, both as a runner and back in pass protection. He'll look to continue that theme Saturday in the second preseason game against the Browns to continue working towards a possible roster spot.
— While Quenton Nelson was able to return from an ankle injury today, he wasn't seen taking any team reps. In his place at left guard at first was Josh Andrews, but then he slid over to center to take over for Ryan Kelly, and Jake Eldrenkamp was the next man up at left guard. The rest of the first-team offensive line — Anthony Castonzo (left tackle), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Braden Smith (right tackle) was in tact.
— A second-team offensive line seen was Le'Raven Clark (left tackle), Eldrenkamp (left guard), Evan Boehm (center), Daniel Munyer (right guard) and Joe Haeg (right tackle).
— A third offensive line combination seen was Clark (left tackle), Haeg (left guard), Boehm (center), Munyer (right guard) and Jackson Barton (right tackle).
— Before going down with his unfortunate ankle injury, Daurice Fountain did what he's been doing much of the past two weeks: making tough catches. Heavily covered, he jumped up to snag a Kelly pass with two hands along the right sideline and come down in bounds, making a play when the Colts' offense desperately needed something to get going.
— Head coach Frank Reich was visibly upset with his first-team offensive line during a move-the-ball period midway through Thursday's practice. Forget multiple false start and holding calls; Brissett at times could barely get through his three- and five-step drops without having multiple Cleveland defenders in his face. "What are we doing up front?" Reich said at one point to the huddle. "What are we doing up front?!"
— Reich did say he liked how the offense responded down the stretch, however. Brissett completed all four of his passes in the next period — two to T.Y. Hilton, one to Marlon Mack and the other to Williams — and then Kelly followed that up by completing 4-of-5 passes, including a 20-yard touchdown to Mo Alie-Cox and a 10-yard touchdown on a smooth one-handed snag by Aca'Cedric Ware. Williams had another strong run during this period, this time to the right, and got a solid seal-off block from tight end Hale Hentges.
— Speaking of Hentges, he was one of three Colts tight ends to catch touchdowns in the final couple portions of practice on Thursday. Alie-Cox added another 10-yard touchdown grab from Walker, and then Ross Travis (from Walker) and Hentges (from Kelly) had scores in the red zone in a final 7-on-7 period.
— One small dust-up did occur when wide receiver Deon Cain appeared to be tackled way after the play should've been called dead. Cain got in the face of the player who brought him down, but another Browns defender was grabbing Cain's facemask during the exchange; wide receiver Zach Pascal rushed in to Cain's side, and the two sides eventually had to be pulled apart.
(via Andrew Walker/Colts.com)
— The Colts' initial first-team base defense was: Muhammad (LDE), Denico Autry (DT), Hunt (NT), Justin Houston (RDE), Darius Leonard (WILL), Bobby Okereke (MIKE), E.J. Speed (SAM), Desir (LCB), Moore II (RCB), Hooker (FS) and Willis (SS). In their nickel package, Ya-Sin came in as the right cornerback, Moore II went into the nickel and Speed left the field.
— The Colts' first-team defense moved around during a session of 11-on-11s defending a two-minute drill. The defense was: Houston (LDE), Hunt (NT), Autry (DT), Kemoko Turay (RDE), Leonard (WILL), Walker (MIKE), Desir (LCB), Ya-Sin (RCB), Moore II (nickel CB), Hooker (FS) and Willis (SS).
— The Colts' second-team defense was: Banogu (LDE), Stewart (NT), Ward (DT), Turay (RDE), Zaire Franklin (WILL), Walker (MIKE), Ahmad Thomas (SAM), Collins (LCB), Hairston (RCB), Odum (FS) and Milligan (SS). When they went into nickel, Wilson came in as the nickel and Thomas left the field.
— There wasn't much of an official third-team defense today because there was so much mixing and matching of personnel. Pretty much anyone who came in on either the second or third team spent time with both units, even many playing with the first-team.
— Early in team drills, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield rifled a pass into the end zone from about 15 yards out, but there appeared to be some miscommunication between him and his intended receiver because the pass went right into the waiting arms of Willis.
— Between 1-on-1s and live action, Collins had some pass breakups. On one, Browns quarterback Garrett Gilbert went about 40 yards down the right sideline to Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi with Collins in coverage. The ball bounced off of Collins' helmet, but he likely would've had an interception if he got his head turned around.
— In the two-minute 11-on-11 drill, Mayfield and the Browns' first-team unit marched downfield quickly, highlighted by an approximately 40-yard gain from Mayfield to Strong down the left side, and then punctuated by a five-yard toss in the front of the end zone to Jarvis Landry.
— The Colts' second-team defense fared better than the first unit in this two-minute session of 11-on-11s. They sacked quarterback Drew Stanton (team sack, blown dead), and Okereke closed in and hit tight end Pharaoh Brown to breakup a pass attempt. Overall, the Browns' second-team offense barely crossed midfield.
— In a later session of 11-on-11s on a 3rd and 6, Browns running back Trayone Gray took a screen pass and spun off a tackle attempt, but Leonard flew in to tackle him one yard short of the marker, holding the fourth-down fist in the air afterward.
— There were some nice tackles for loss by a couple of Colts rookies. First, Gray took a handoff to the right side, and Banogu was right there right away to cut it short. Later, in red zone drills, Gray had a run to the left but was immediately tracked down from behind by Shippy.
— The Colts' run defense did well for the most part on the day with the exception of a play in which Browns running back Nick Chubb took a delayed handoff, found a huge hole and then broke downfield for about a 70-yard touchdown. It looked like it would've been a legit score in a real game.
— Turay was disruptive, at one point bending the edge on quarterback David Blough's blindside and killing the play for a sack. Blough had no options and simply tossed the ball on the ground.
— There were multiple skirmishes throughout the day, and it started early. The Colts' high-effort practice habits on defense where they constantly try and strip the ball and are consistently wrapping up may have gotten under the Browns' skin.
— In the final session of 11-on-11s with tensions high, the Colts defended their red zone. Mayfield threw an intermediate pass to Higgins, who bobbled the ball while Moore II dove down and swiped the ball for an interception. On the next play, Mayfield took a shot at the end zone and Moore II was there to knock it away. The Browns' second unit then answered with a five-yard touchdown from Stanton to Strong.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)
— The teams primarily practiced punting today, taking turns being on the punt and punt coverage units. Seeing action on the punt return units were Moore II, Milton, Desir and Odum on the outsides guarding the gunner, Hairston, Jonathan Willliams, Farley, Skai Moore, Kindred, Aca'Cedric Ware, Speed and Thomas on the line, and Ashton Dulin, Chester Rogers, Nyheim Hines and Zach Pascal as returners.
— Continuing punts on the other side of the ball, coming in at gunner were Milton, Odum, Dulin and Ya-Sin while Hines saw action at personal proctector. Not a lot of punt team reps got done for the Colts, as multiple fights broke out during their turn.
— The final special teams session of the day made for multiple heated moments between the two teams. The Browns seemed to take offense when the Colts' coaches told their "bench" to back up along the sideline so that the left-side gunner and those defending the gunner had room to run. The Browns' bench didn't backup much, and Terrance Mitchell got run over by the gunner and defenders on the ensuing play. Next, Cleveland's Ray-Ray Armstrong got in Hines' face, they shoved each other, and then one of Hines' teammates came flying in to defend him. This cleared both sides and seemed to have much of both rosters zooming in. The next 10 to 15 minutes was dotted with other various left-over dust-ups. Although you don't necessarily want to see fighting, one thing is for sure: these players absolutely have their teammates' backs. Throughout this period, I've never seen players trying so hard on special teams. The intensity and effort was cranked up off the charts.
(via Jake Arthur/Colts.com)