WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Colts over the weekend placed linebacker Darius Leonard, defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis, safety Rodney McLeod and wide receiver Mike Strachan on the physically unable to perform list, and placed rookie defensive tackle Eric Johnson II on the non-football injury list. General manager Chris Ballard offered outlooks on each of those players during his pre-camp press conference on Tuesday:
- There's no timetable on Leonard, but he felt relief from his June back procedure and is happy with where he recovery process is.
- On Lewis, who suffered a season-ending knee injury returning an interception in Week 8 of the 2021 season, Ballard said: "He's getting close. We expect him back soon."
- McLeod had a "little procedure" on his knee, Ballard said, and is close to practicing.
- Strachan had a knee procedure before the end of the Colts' offseason program, and Ballard thinks he could be able to return to practice before the end of training camp.
- Johnson tweaked his back training and "should be back fairly quickly," Ballard said.
Defensive end Kwity Paye arrived for his second training camp feeling confident about the work he put in this offseason honing his technique – and also in correcting something that was a bit of an issue as a rookie.
- Paye said coaches noticed last year he was a little slower getting off the ball when he lined up on the right side than on the left side, which he said stemmed from the vision in his left eye being worse than in his right eye. Since he was keying his get-off on the ball being snapped in his peripheral vision, he was a hair slower.
- So Paye showed up wearing glasses, and will wear contacts during games – and the Colts envision him playing more on the left side this year anyway.
Paye spent time with DeForest Buckner and a few other teammates in Norman, Okla. to train after minicamp ended in June. "Kwity, him coming off his angle, that's what we really worked on was his angle and approach off the edge," Buckner said. "His decision and his striking with his long arm, I feel like he's come a long way even coming off last year. We watched a lot of film together as a group and I feel like that was really beneficial for everybody and I'm excited to see what he's gonna be able to do this year."
The Colts on Tuesday signed wide receivers Isaiah Ford and John Hurst, and while they're still evaluating that position group, Ballard expressed confidence in the guys who will hit the practice field tomorrow in Westfield.
- "We like who we have," Ballard said. "Michael Pittman Jr. is a good player. We kind of wash over this guy. Sometimes I think the league does. I mean freaking, this dude is good. We thought Parris (Campbell) had a great offseason. We drafted Alec Pierce who we really like. We thought he had a good offseason. Ashton Dulin just kind of gets overlooked too for what he brings. Now you got a younger group backed in with (Dezmon) Patmon, who we think has a lot of talent and it's his time to show up. Keke Coutee who's played and (DeMichael) Harris. So, we've got some other kids that we like. Then, plus I don't want to overlook Nyheim (Hines) and what Nyheim can bring. So, I just don't see quite the desperation."
- Ballard added the Colts have not had any discussions about signing free agent Julio Jones, though T.Y. Hilton "is still in the mix," he said.
"I mean sure, look, it would be easy to go sign a name for y'all (the media)," Ballard said. "Y'all would write these beautiful stories and then when that guy didn't play well, the flip would be incredible. Like it would be incredible. Y'all won't get called on it, I will. Y'all won't get called on it though. So, have some patience and let us work through it."
Tuesday's quote of the day comes from Hines talking about quarterback Matt Ryan's leadership:
- "I can't describe it, you just get chills," Hines said. "He starts talking to us, and you just look at him and go okay, this guy is about to lead us to a championship or to (the) AFC South (championship) and lead us as far as we want to go. He has been there. He has been to the Super Bowl, and I don't know how many guys have been to the Super Bowl on this roster, probably less than ten, but we are looking at those guys to lead us because we haven't been there, especially guys like myself and guys who are becoming older now, we want to win. That's our goal. We want to go out here and do whatever it takes to win."
Get your free tickets to Colts Training Camp presented by Koorsen Fire & Security by visiting Colts.com/camp.
Everyone has arrived for 2022 Colts Training Camp, presented by Koorsen Fire & Security!