Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag: How Will Seahawks Challenge Carson Wentz, Young WRs and Rock Ya-Sin?

The Colts kick off the 2021 season on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Lucas Oil Stadium. Check out what questions fans had ahead of Week 1. 

Carson Wentz mailbag

Colts.com readers can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Mailbag series.

Missed out on the party this week? Not a problem — you can submit your question(s) for next time by clicking here, or by taking part in the Colts.com Forums and the Colts' Reddit. You can also send your questions to @JJStankevitz on Twitter.

Let's get after this week's questions:

Ivan Nuñez, Mexico: ¿Carson va a jugar en el primer juego?

JJ Stankevitz: ¡Más probable es que sí! (Ivan was asking if Carson Wentz would play the first game of the season; my answer is most likely yes).

Wentz was a full participant in the Colts' practices Wednesday and Thursday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, which puts him on track to start against the Seahawks on Sunday. The work Wentz has put in to get to this point is remarkable - Sunday is five weeks and six days after he underwent a procedure to remove a bone fragment from his foot. But Wentz has been determined to start the Colts' opener for a while now, so it won't come as much of a shock to see No. 2 under center at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

"(I was) very determined," Wentz said. "I know they had a very wide range of a timetable, and I knew that too. I knew that going in a lot determined on how the surgery went and a lot of factors but at the end of the day, I say God is good for getting me to this point. I'm thankful for it and I'm excited for it."

Chris Benge, Hazel Green, Ala.: What do you expect from a young receiving core given little practice with Wentz going against a tough Seattle secondary?

JJ Stankevitz: It's going to be a challenge, no doubt, since Wentz will only have practiced with those receivers nine times between the start of training camp and Sunday's season opener. And not having T.Y. Hilton, who's on injured reserve after undergoing neck surgery last week, will present an even greater challenge.

But Wentz put in a ton of work with guys like Michael Pittman Jr., Jack Doyle, Zach Pascal, Nyheim Hines and Parris Campbell before training camp. He threw with his pass-catchers in California, Indiana and Texas before, during and after OTAs this spring and developed a good rapport with his teammates on and off the field. All of that stuff matters.

The bigger question here will be how it all plays out against an opposing defense. Seattle ranked 16th in defensive DVOA last year - so league-average - and had more success defending the run than the pass. But it's a new team and a new year, even if Pete Carroll's been in Seattle since 2010 and six-time First-Team AP All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner is going on his 10th year with the Seahawks.

"You kind of have a good idea of what they've done in previous years, just what we've known Seattle to be," offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said. "Then with (safety) Jamal Adams, he kind of changes – he brings a different aspect to them. So, you just have to be aware of what he does as well."

JJ Stankevitz: The obvious answer is to win, right? But Wentz is aiming to make an impact off the field here, too: His AO1 Foundation's food truck ministry, Thy Kingdom Crumb, will begin operating a food truck providing free meals in Indianapolis this fall.

Thy Kingdom Crumb's food truck began operating in Philadelphia in 2018 and has already provided over 90,000 free meals over the last three years.

"As soon as we got settled in Indianapolis, we knew we wanted to bring Thy Kingdom Crumb to this area," Wentz said. "We've seen God change lives through this ministry, and we know He's got big plans for TKC Indy."

Jerry Martin, Indianapolis, Ind.: Is left Tackle Eric Fisher going to start against Seattle? Where is he in his rehab?

JJ Stankevitz: Fisher was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and we'll see what his official designation is in Friday's final injury report. But the Colts' goal this week was to push Fisher in case he would be ready for Week 1, and with the thought they could always pull him back if need be.

"I think what I want to be guilty of is and what we've talked about is, let's push him. We can pull him back," coach Frank Reich said. "Let's try to get him ready right now, try to get him ready to play this week. Maybe that's not realistic, but let's try and then we can always pull back."

Fisher, though, is by all indications at a good place in his rehab from an Achilles' injury suffered in the AFC Championship last January. That he was even placed on the active roster after coming off the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday was a promising indicator; if he were to be placed on injured reserve, he wouldn't have been potentially available until Week 4 at the earliest.

We'll have a better idea of Fisher's availability Friday afternoon, and if he's not ruled out today, we'll may know for sure 90 minutes prior to kickoff when inactives are announced. But if Fisher can't go, the Colts are confident Julién Davenport can capably fill in at left tackle - and the former Texans and Dolphins tackle is confident, too.

"I've played a lot of games in this league and I'm still working to improve my game and myself," Davenport said. "So I've been doing everything I can to be prepared and ready at any given moment whenever my number is called."

Kristian Lockyear, Atlanta, Ga.: How are we feeling with Rock Ya-Sin? Are we expecting him to take the leap this year?

JJ Stankevitz: Ya-Sin emerged from training camp having earned a starting nod at cornerback, and Reich expressed confidence in the 2019 second-round pick earlier this week.

"I think Rock seems very dialed in and very focused," Reich said. "I know he always is. You guys know Rock, that guy is all work, he is all work. So I have felt an air of confidence with him, more confidence even this year. I can see it in his body language, kind of feel it in that way. So just has to continue to make plays and do what we're doing out there – very strong belief in Rock right now."

Ya-Sin and the Colts' cornerbacks (Xavier Rhodes did not practice Wednesday or Thursday with a calf issue) will be tested on Sunday against the Seahawks, who boast a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Lockett played the majority of his snaps last year in the slot, so perhaps Kenny Moore II will see more of him, but the big-bodied, blazingly fast Metcalf will present a challenge for any cornerback lined up against him.

Go behind the scenes to see your favorite Indianapolis Colts players as they partake in the 2021 photoshoot.

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