ST. LOUIS – The Colts final preseason trip of 2015 included plenty of positives with the regular season opener now two weeks away.
Extended action for the starters on Saturday allowed for key situational work, despite a potentially significant injury.
Here's a notebook look at the Colts preseason win on Saturday night over the Rams:
Arthur Jones' Status Unknown
The Colts have dodged the league-wide injury bug so far in August.
They now hope that continues as they await word on Arthur Jones' left ankle.
Jones exited after two snaps on Saturday with a left ankle injury, forcing the big man to use crutches and a walking boot after the game.
"I just have to wait and see what the doctors say tomorrow," Chuck Pagano said of Jones' injury after the game.
"I have no idea right now of how bad it is. Hopefully it is a quick turnaround and not a high ankle type deal, where he would have to miss the type of time that he missed last year."
It goes without saying that the Colts cannot afford to lose Jones for a chunk of time, like they did for nearly half the 2014 season.
The biggest pre-game injury news for the Colts on Saturday night came when Vick Ballard appeared on the inactive list.
Ballard pulled a hamstring during Thursday's practice, the opposite one from which he had tighten on him during Training Camp.
The injury bug has riddled Ballard the past two seasons and is now keeping him off the field during a key evaluation period of roster mechanics.
"You hope that the injury is not a 10-day (one), you hope that it is a quick turn around and we can get (Ballard) back on the football field because he was looking really good," Pagano said in his postgame press conference.
"When he was out there, he was looking like the old Vick. It is very unfortunate what happened to him, so we will just take it day-to-day and see what happens."
Fellow running back Josh Robinson left Saturday's contest early in the third quarter. He will undergo the concussion protocol.
Colts Offense Excels In Two-Minute Drill
The ideal scenario for Pep Hamilton came right before halftime on Saturday night.
An offensive coordinator would love to see his starting offense have to operate in a two-minute setting before the regular season. Hamilton got that late in the first half.
Andrew Luck would lead a 13-play, 83-yard drive that took 1:46 and ended with three points from Adam Vinatieri.
Luck found seven different receivers in his half of work on Saturday night, with five of those pass catchers hauling in balls during the two-minute drive---Donte Moncrief: 2 for 25, Duron Carter: 2 for 21, T.Y. Hilton: 1 for 16, Dwayne Allen: 1 for 14 and Boom Herron: 1 for 10.
A week and a half ago, the Colts closed out scrimmages with the Bears by dominating a final two-minute period, on each side of the ball.
On Saturday night, it was time to take their situational football and apply it in a game setting.
"I think that's what's good about this third preseason game, with the starters on the field, you get to see a bunch of different situations, and you get a two-minute situation that is important," Luck said after the 24-14 victory.
"In good situational work, some guys made some plays."Starting Defense Leads Another Solid Outing Against The Run
Virtually every time a Colts defender meets the media, the topic of stopping the run inevitably enters the interview.
If the past two preseason games are any indication for what we see in the regular season, those questions might be dwindling.
On Saturday night, the Rams had just 28 rushing yards on 12 attempts in the first half, with the Colts also eliminating several of the missed tackles that had their attention last week.
"I'm pleased with the progress we're making," new defensive end Kendall Langford said after the game.
"We're not complacent at all. It's still preseason, but I like the direction we're going in. We've just got to wrap up, finish a few tackles here and there, and continue to get better."
Along with Langford in the run game, the Colts have seen some very nice play this preseason from edge setter Erik Walden.
While the wait for Arthur Jones' injured ankle is priority No. 1, the Colts defense is ready for the next step.
"I feel good, but we still have some work to do," Langford said after the game.
"We're still striving and chasing perfection like coach Pagano preaches. We've got some things we need to work on and I'm pretty sure we'll get that done before Buffalo."
Colts/Rams Snap Counts
- Duron Carter played the most snaps of any Colts player on the offensive side of the ball (51 of the 72 offensive snaps).
- Of any normal Colts starter on offense, guard Lance Louis saw the most action with 48 snaps.
- Andrew Luck played 41 snaps (56 percent) with the Colts starters playing right around half the game.
- Defensively, rookie inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera played the most of any defender (35 of 62 defensive snaps).
- The Colts defensive starters logged right around 24 to 32 defensive snaps on Saturday night.
- The nose tackle reps saw Zach Kerr get 26 snaps, 20 snaps for David Parry and 13 for Josh Chapman.
Photos from the third preseason game in St. Louis