INDIANAPOLIS – In what is shaping up to be a beautiful first week of fall, the Colts took advantage with a two-hour practice outside on Wednesday.
It's the Colts first true "normal" week of the season with Sunday afternoon games on back-to-back weeks.
Here are a few headlines from Chuck Pagano, A.Q. Shipley and Andrew Luck talking to the media on Wednesday:
Chuck Pagano on continuing to use Ahmad Bradshaw off the bench:
"Right now, it's working out the way we are rolling those guys.
"Coming off the bench, so to speak…he's obviously been very, very productive. I think both guys are pushing each other to be extremely productive. I like how it's going to this point."
Bowen's Analysis: Defining a "starting" running back for the Colts is difficult outside of the initial series. Yes, Trent Richardson is the starter, but he's played 16 fewer snaps this season than Ahmad Bradshaw.
Pagano won't peg Bradshaw as a "third-down" back saying that both players are more than capable of producing on any down. On the year, Bradshaw is averaging 7.1 yards on his 37 touches and Richardson is averaging 5.7 yards on his 48 touches. Keeping both fresh over the course of a 16-game season is high atop Pagano's priority list. The duo is the only pair in the NFL with more than 150 rushing yards after two weeks.
A.Q. Shipley on why he's been so successful coming in at center:
"I think getting back to my natural position at center has been big for me.
"This is where I feel comfortable. It's where I played in college. It's where I succeeded in the NFL."
Bowen's Analysis: The major news out of Wednesday's media sessions was the announcement that Shipley would remain as the Colts starting center. Khaled Holmes, the man expected to be the starting center, is no longer on the injury report raising the question on who should start at center.
Pagano made it pretty clear on Wednesday that with a veteran starter (i.e. Reggie Wayne) things are more complicated in those guys returning from injury. Shipley has more than proven himself in his three weeks as the team's starting center. Why mess with success? Shipley is the starter for Sunday and Pagano said the position would continued to be evaluated with Holmes now completely healthy.
Andrew Luck on currently being ranked the top fantasy quarterback:
"As long as we get more Colts fans, that's great. The more, the merrier. I guess if they are supporting the Colts, that's good.
"I always thought it's a little funny, Fantasy Football, when you support a player on a team. That doesn't quite make sense to me, considering the team aspect of football. But if they are Colts fans, that's all good with me."
Bowen's Analysis: It was such a Luck answer to expect. Fantasy Football is obviously a growing trend across all types of people. Luck is the top point getter at the quarterback position after three weeks.
Luck was more interested in talking about the task of taking on one of the league's best defenses this week. Up front, Jurrell Casey is arguably the top interior player in the league and the Titans secondary is currently the second best pass defense in the NFL. How will Luck follow up his AFC Offensive Player of the Week award?
Here is the injury report for Wednesday:
-DNP- Ahmad Bradshaw (rest), Darius Butler (neck), Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), Mario Harvey (hamstring), D'Qwell Jackson (rest), Arthur Jones (ankle), LaRon Landry (rest), Andy Studebaker (hamstring), Hugh Thornton (ankle) and Reggie Wayne (rest).
-A ton of rest days for many Colts veterans. No real surprises on the first injury report of the week.
-LIMITED- Colt Anderson (groin), Vontae Davis (ankle), T.Y. Hilton (ankle) and Greg Toler (ribs).
-Hilton participated in all of the media portion of practice, which includes individual drills. Chuck Pagano said after practice that Hilton is "going to be fine."
-FULL- Joe Reitz (ankle)
-The Colts backup swing tackle is about four weeks removed from the high ankle injury he suffered in the team's preseason finale. Reitz practiced at some volume last week.