INDIANAPOLIS – The sun had hardly shown its face to the west side of Indianapolis on Monday morning before the players' parking lot looked like a winter morning.
Around 6 a.m. Monday, players began returning to work for the start of the Colts' nine-week offseason program.
Here's a look at five takeaways after the Colts started their first activities of the 2017 season:
Weight Room And Conditioning
For the next two weeks, the physical team activities for the Colts will be centered on those aspects of training.
Per the NFL, Phase One is for activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Classroom sessions for players and coaches will also be a big part of the early days of the offseason program.
With the Colts having nearly 20 new players from last year, several who will compete for major playing time, this part of the offseason is vital in getting the mental part of the system down before on-the-field stuff picks up in the coming weeks.**
Luck Speaks On Surgery**
A timeframe remains a secret, but Andrew Luck did reveal some specifics about the need to have surgery on his right shoulder this offseason.
Luck has spent the vast majority of his 2017 offseason right here in Indianapolis, rehabbing his right shoulder.
The 2017 offseason is going to have its awkward moments for Luck, with him being scaled back from fully participating.
In two weeks, players will begin participating in individual drills in front of coaches so that will be the early look as to how much the Colts will be relying on Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris this offseason.**
Veterans Back To Work**
New faces and returning veterans were present on Monday for the start of the team's offseason program, which is voluntary.
The Colts had 97 percent of their 73-man roster present for work on Monday.
Frank Gore trotted into the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center as he looks to start his 13th NFL season.
At the age of 34, Gore has a very realistic shot to climb into 5th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Gore is 619 yards behind LaDainian Tomlinson for 5th place.
For the 70-plus guys currently on the roster, they will work together the next two weeks before a new batch of rookies are added to the mix following next week's draft.
Team activities (7-on-7, 11-on-11) for the Colts will start on May 22 with 10 OTAs leading into a mandatory three-day minicamp from June 13-15.**
Some Injury Updates**
On Monday, we heard from a trio of Colts who battled injuries in 2016.
-Kendall Langford (knee) missed the first playing time of his career last year. The nine-year veteran's remarkable run with durability ended in early November when a nagging knee injury sent him to IR. Langford said on Monday that he will be ready to go for Training Camp. The defensive end also offered a guarantee that the 30th ranked defense will not be down in the bottom of the league again in 2017.
-Henry Anderson (knee) is now a year and a half removed from his torn ACL. Anderson says he feels 100 percent and knows he can get back to being a playmaker along the defensive front. Certain movements (i.e. cutting, flipping his hips) hurt Anderson last year as he played in 11 games for the Colts.
-Jack Mewhort (knee) was arguably the team's best offensive lineman last year before a knee injury ended his season with four weeks remaining. While Mewhort strayed away from saying exactly what his participation will be this offseason, he was part of a big offensive line group that routinely worked out together this offseason.
Another tidbit from Monday came from new safety Darius Butler. Look for Butler to add around a handful of pounds this offseason as he tries to carry a little extra mass for the added physicality coming in his switch to safety.Little Order of Business
Players returning on Monday gave the Colts the opportunity to finalize some logistics.
WR-Quan Bray and TE-Mo Alie-Cox have signed their exclusive rights free agent tenders, keeping them both in Indianapolis for another season.
There might not be a player on the Colts roster who will see his playing time/role increase more in 2017 than Swoope.
He's the No. 2 tight end, which is a starting position in Rob Chudzinski's offense.
Bray should have a chance to regain the return duties he had last year. An ankle injury in early October ended Bray's 2016 season.
It is a crowded wide receiver room though for Bray, especially after the signing of veteran Kamar Aiken.
2017 Offseason Program - Day One - DEFENSE STRENGTH / CONDITIONING
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