WESTFIELD, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts travel to take on the Buffalo Bills Thursday in their 2019 preseason opener, and, accordingly, it's time to take a look at the team's first unofficial depth chart.
A couple things to keep in mind: these depth charts are, indeed, unofficial. Each NFL team is required to publicly release its depth chart the week leading up to a game, and lots can change over the course of the next few days.
Also, the players listed as "starters" aren't necessarily those who will start the upcoming game; case in point: injured players or those not yet ready for game action are usually listed on the depth chart, too, and head coach Frank Reich has already indicated that some starters, including quarterback Andrew Luck, will likely sit out this opener against the Bills.
So, without further ado, let's take a look at the initial Colts unofficial depth chart of the 2019 preseason:
— WR: T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers, Parris Campbell, Daurice Fountain, Steve Ishmael, Penny Hart, Jordan Veasy
— LT: Anthony Castonzo, Le'Raven Clark, Jackson Barton, J'Marcus Webb
— LG: Quenton Nelson, Evan Boehm, Ian Silberman
— C: Ryan Kelly, Josh Andrews, Evan Boehm, Daniel Munyer
— RG: Mark Glowinski, Jake Eldrenkamp
— RT: Braden Smith, Joe Haeg, Antonio Garcia
— TE: Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox, Gabe Holmes, Hale Hentges
— WR: Devin Funchess, Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson, Deon Cain, Krishawn Hogan, Ashton Dulin, Roger Lewis
— QB: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly
— TE: Eric Ebron, Ross Travis, Zach Conque
— RB: Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Williams, Keith Ford
» The competition has been fierce at wide receiver since training camp begin, and this unofficial depth chart does little to add any clarity to that battle. On any given day, guys like Chester Rogers, Daurice Fountain, Steve Ishmael, Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson, Deon Cain and Krishawn Hogan will make one or two (or more) impressive plays. Perhaps the preseason games will start to help this group add some sort of separation; otherwise, Reich and his staff will have some very difficult decisions to make when cutting down to the 53-man roster at the start of the regular season.
» Another position battle to watch is at center. While Ryan Kelly is fully entrenched as the starter, Josh Andrews and Evan Boehm are battling it out for the backup job, which has certainly played out in camp practices, too.
— DE: Justin Houston, Kemoko Turay, Gerri Green, Obum Gwacham
— NT: Tyquan Lewis, Margus Hunt, Grover Stewart
— UT: Denico Autry, Jihad Ward, Caraun Reid, Sterling Shippy
— DE: Jabaal Sheard, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Ben Banogu, Carroll Phillips, Dadi Nicolas
— WLB: Darius Leonard, E.J. Speed
— MLB: Anthony Walker, Bobby Okereke, Ahmad Thomas
— SAM: Matthew Adams, Zaire Franklin, Skai Moore
— CB: Kenny Moore II, Quincy Wilson, Shakial Taylor, Jalen Collins
— FS: Malik Hooker, George Odum, Derrick Kindred, Isaiah Johnson
— SS: Clayton Geathers, Khari Willis, Matthias Farley, Rolan Milligan
— CB: Pierre Desir, Rock Ya-Sin, Nate Hairston, Marvell Tell III, Chris Milton
» The key thing to keep in mind at linebacker for the Colts is that most of the players listed are expected to be able to know and play all three spots (the WILL, MIKE and SAM). So while rookie E.J. Speed is unofficially listed as the backup at WILL linebacker, we've seen him used plenty during practice at SAM, too.
» The battle for spots at the cornerback position for the Colts is just like the one at wide receiver — not even close to being over. While Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore II are locked in as starters on the outside (and then Moore II moves inside when the team goes to its nickel package), there has been a wide range of combinations used by defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus beyond that point. We'll see how the preseason games shake out and if that has any effect on the depth chart moving forward.
» There are some real good battles happening at safety, too. Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers are returning starters, but George Odum and Khari Willis of late have been getting their fair share of "first-team" snaps during practice, too, while you can never count out guys like Matthias Farley or Derrick Kindred. This is another spot on which to keep a close eye.
— P: Rigoberto Sanchez
— PK: Adam Vinatieri, Cole Hedlund
— H: Rigoberto Sanchez
— LS: Luke Rhodes
— KR: Zach Pascal, Nyheim Hines
— PR: Chester Rogers
» While just two players are listed here at kick returner, and one at punt returner, there are some other names to watch that have been getting opportunities at those spots during camp practices that could get shots during preseason games. They include Parris Campbell, Penny Hart, Marcus Johnson and Marlon Mack, among others.
See your favorite Indianapolis Colts players in a different light before and after practices at this years training camp.