INDIANAPOLIS —The mismatch is back — at least on the practice field and in terms of working with the Indianapolis Colts' offense.
Mo Alie-Cox, the University of Miami college basketball player-turned NFL tight end, had already rejoined his teammates on the practice field a couple weeks ago, but upon returning from the bye week he has made another step in his progression from preseason knee surgery.
"Last week I mainly went with the scout team, so this will be a good week to go with the offense and getting used to that whole flow of getting used to game prep," the second-year tight end said from the locker room inside the Farm Bureau Football Center on Monday.
Head coach Chuck Pagano and Swoope's position coach, Jim Hostler, have both talked about the diversity their athletic tight end adds to the offense — and the potential headaches he can cause for opposing defensive coaches — and Swoope is just waiting for their final word to strap his helmet back up for his first game action of the 2017 season.
He realizes the team needs to make the call, hopefully for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans, to activate him from the Injured Reserve list, and then the 6'5", 258-pound receiving threat can get back to in-game pass routes after a long wait due to a knee scope procedure performed towards the tail end of training camp.
"What I had going on with my leg wasn't truly an injury," Swoope said. "It was more of a wear-and-tear thing."
Whether it was from years of sprinting up and down the hardwood or getting his legs accustomed to different movements in the game of football, Swoope has the confidence he is ready to go, physically and mentally, and is eager to see what he can provide an offense that likes to use two-tight end sets and includes Jack Doyle, a terrific blocker who is among league leaders with 52 catches already on the season and is equally pumped to get his teammate back.
"It's awesome to have Swoope out there," said Doyle. "I've seen him working to get back and all his hard work putting into it from back when he was a basketball player until now. I'm excited to have him back out there."
The steady Doyle, as well as the running backs and wide receivers on the team, may be the recipients of a little additional space to work with having the threat of No. 86 working his limbs of the passing tree and creating mismatches for the defense.
For his part, Swoope says he's "foaming at the mouth" to return to game action after working so hard to earn the No. 2 tight end spot, only to go under the knife and miss a good chunk of the regular season.
"I'm slowly counting down," Swoope said. "But I'm ready to go."