Colts Wednesday Notebook: Andrew Luck Takes The Next Step At Practice

Intro: The Colts returned to the practice field on Wednesday for their first official practice of the week. What did the Colts injury report look like on Wednesday with the New England Patriots coming to town for a Sunday night kickoff?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck took the next step on Wednesday in his right shoulder recovery but remains limited at practice.

It was a very busy Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center with some visiting media on hand for a highly anticipated matchup on Sunday night against New England.

Also, on Wednesday, the Colts agreed to terms with veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Where does the productive Bradshaw fit into the Colts backfield?

Here are some sound bites from Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano meeting the media on Wednesday:Andrew Luck on how he feels after taking most of the snaps at Tuesday's practice:

"Certainly took the next step, absolutely. Did more and more and felt better and better. I think (I'm) on track, so happy with how it responded.

"Doing everything with less restriction."

Bowen's Analysis:* *The media witnessed Luck throw actual passes on Wednesday for the first time in three weeks. Luck went through the normal warmup/individual period that is open to the media, throwing passes upwards of 30 yards.

Luck was still listed as limited though on the injury report. Luck said on Wednesday that he's close to where he wants to be. Thursday will be an important day to see how Luck responds from the extended work he did on Wednesday, compared to what he's done recently at practice. Things again continue to be trending in the direction for Luck to play on Sunday night.

Chuck Pagano on Bill Belichick:

"It's a game-plan defense. Right when you think you know exactly what he's going to do, he defends you a different way.

"They do a great job of making you beat them left-handed. They are going to take away what you do best and make you beat them different ways."

Bowen's Analysis: While the Colts have to be prepared to stop everything in facing Belichick come Sunday, stopping the run is a major, major key.

One area where New England has found success against the Colts has been the utilization of an extra tackle in the run game. That game plan might be altered a bit this week after news broke on Wednesday that Patriots left tackle Nate Solder suffered a season-ending biceps injury against Dallas. The Patriots have been rotating linemen in 2015, but there's no denying the significance in losing Solder, who was a first-round pick back in 2011.Chuck Pagano on the reps for Robert Mathis:

"He's going to want to go play 50-60 snaps. We just can't do it because it's a war of attrition.

"We've got to stick to the plan. The plan was 25-to-30 snaps."

Bowen's Analysis: On Wednesday, Pagano touched on how the Colts view the role for Mathis this season in coming off his season-ending Achilles' injury from last year.

It sounds like Mathis' role will stay very similar to the amount of reps he's logged in the past weeks. Mathis has been used primarily on passing downs in 2015. The pass rushing onus this week takes center stage for the Colts. If they can consistently disrupt Brady, something they were unable to do last season, that will definitely enable their chances to slow down the Patriots No. 1 offense.

INJURY NOTES

Here is the injury report for Wednesday:

  • DNP: ILB-Jerrell Freeman (groin), WR-Andre Johnson (rest), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest)

-Freeman appears to the biggest injury to watch (non-quarterback related) this week, regarding Colts starters.

  • LIMITED: OLB-Trent Cole (back), ILB-Nate Irving (knee), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder)

-The Luck update is above.

  • FULL: OLB-Bjoern Werner (hamstring)

-Werner missed last week's game in Houston due to the hamstring injury he suffered late in the Week Four win over Jacksonville.

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