CINCINNATI – The Colts closed out the preseason in a fashion they hope is seen only during the month of August.
With virtually every starter sitting out on Thursday night, the Colts reserves couldn't put any consistency together and fell to the Bengals, 35-7, at Paul Brown Stadium.
Here's a notebook run down of the Colts preseason finale.
Starters Go To Work Before Lights Come On
As the Colts huddled during pre-game warmups on Thursday night, Andrew Luck took to the middle to address his fellow teammates.
For the Colts starters, their on-the-field work was complete for the night.
Luck's message was to those fighting to be one of 53 come Saturday.
"Earn your spot, make your name worthwhile," Luck said to his teammates.
Starters then retreated to the locker room and many emerged with ball caps on, indicating their next game action would come a week from Sunday in Denver.
About two hours before kickoff, Luck took Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Hakeem Nicks, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen through a lengthy passing tree session.
Other starters worked with their individual position groups.
The Colts defensive starters on Thursday were as followed: DL-Ricky Jean Francois, Brandon McKinney, Zach Kerr, LB-Jonathan Newsome, Kelvin Sheppard, Josh McNary, Cam Johnson, DB-Josh Gordy, Marcus Burley, Colt Anderson and Mike Adams.
The Colts offensive starters on Thursday were as followed: QB-Chandler Harnish, RB-Boom Herron, FB-Mario Harvey, WR-Donte Moncrief, Da'Rick Rogers, TE-Jack Doyle, OL-Joe Reitz, Lance Louis, Jack Mewhort, Josh Walker and Matt Hall.
Photos from the preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Josh McNary And Marcus Burley Make Impacts
Two of the Colts standouts on Thursday night came via the defensive side of the ball.
Josh McNary, who had missed the last month of practice due to a shoulder injury, got his first taste of game action this season.
The Army product started at inside linebacker and led the Colts with seven first half tackles.
Last year, McNary saw his first NFL action late in the season and became a key pass rush threat in nickel situations.
The injury early on in the 2014 Training Camp was a set back, but McNary figures to factor prominently into the inside linebacker depth behind starters Jerrell Freeman and D'Qwell Jackson.
"No issues, the shoulder held up pretty good," McNary said after the game.
"It's basically just conditioning and the physical repetitions and stuff. Moving forward, I think if I can continue to practice, then I'm good."
At cornerback, Marcus Burley continued to fly around the field.
Burley joined McNary with seven first-half tackles and got into the backfield on two separate occasions via blitzes.
It's going to be a very interesting 24-36 hours for a guy like Burley, who has been impressive since the spring.
"You just have to wait it out and see what happens," Burley said Thursday night.Joe Reitz Leaves Game With High Ankle Sprain
With virtually every starter sitting out on Thursday night, the injury news figured to not change much for key players.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case as versatile offensive lineman Joe Reitz went down late in the first quarter with a high ankle sprain.
Tackle depth is lacking right now for the Colts. Xavier Nixon had his knee scoped earlier this month and has yet to return.
Reitz has tremendous position flexibility across the offensive line and he was even taking some snaps at center during pre-game on Thursday.
Throw in rookie tackle Ulrick John on injured reserve and the Colts might be searching for some tackle bodies behind Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus.Snap Count Look
-Three offensive starters played all 63 snaps on Thursday night (OG-Josh Walker, QB-Chandler Harnish and OT-Matt Hall).
-Converted defensive lineman Tyler Hoover palyed 56 snaps at offensive tackle.
-Rookie Jonathan Newsome played all 57 defensive snaps, along with 21 on special teams.
-Undrafted free agent Zach Kerr logged 42 defensive snaps along the front.
-The safety breakdown was as followed: starter Mike Adams (11 snaps), Sergio Brown (31 snaps) and starter Colt Anderson (44 snaps).