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Geathers, Hooker Likely To Start Camp On PUP List; Other Injury Updates

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts’ young, talented safety duo will likely be on the sidelines when the team gets training camp practices underway next week.

General manager Chris Ballard told reporters today that Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker will assuredly be placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Wednesday, when the team reports to Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind., for the start of camp.

The Active/PUP list is utilized by teams for players who are still recovering from football-related injuries heading into training camp that they believe will be cleared to return to full participation sometime during the preseason. A player on the Active/PUP list, once cleared, can return to practice immediately. 

(Don't get it confused with the Reserve/PUP list, which is utilized at the start of the regular season, and requires any player placed on the Active/PUP list who did not practice during training camp to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.)

Ballard said Geathers experienced a knee issue towards the end of the 2017 season and underwent a minor “knee procedure” this offseason to clean it up.

“He’s probably about 80, 85 percent right now,” Ballard said Friday. “(Geathers) most likely will start on PUP. How long he’s on there, I’m not quite sure. But he’s pretty close. He’s worked his tail off, and he’s pretty close to being ready to go.”

Ballard confirmed that Geathers — who did not participate in the on-field portion of the Colts’ offseason workout program — did not have any setbacks as it pertained to an offseason neck surgery from last offseason that forced him to miss the first 11 games of the 2017 season, as some had speculated.

“Geathers is going to be fine from all indications, it’s just a matter of getting used to the pounding again,” Ballard said. “It’s just stackin’ the days, and there’ll be some days when he gets back that will have to be limited, but he’s worked his tail off to get back and get back right.”

Hooker, meanwhile, has been working his way back to full health after suffering a torn ACL and MCL while attempting to make a tackle along the sideline during the Colts’ Week 7 game last season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ballard said the team is waiting until the nine-month mark post-surgery — which will be around Aug. 9 or 10 — to re-visit Hooker’s availability, but he doesn’t, at this time, anticipate the second-year safety will miss much, if any, time to start the regular season.

“That’s the day where the statistics will tell you that at nine months is where the chance of re-injuring the ACL again significantly drops. And then each week out from then it continues to significantly drop,” Ballard said. “So I think sometime in that early- to mid-August area he should come on. We think he’ll be good for the second part of the preseason into the season; anytime you’re coming back from an ACL it takes time. It just does.”

Ballard also had several other updates on injured players as the team prepares to report for training camp:

» Center Deyshawn Bond: Bond, who suffered a season-ending quad injury Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks, most likely will be “ready to go” to start training camp with the team next week. “It’ll be mostly individual drills early, working in just some reps here in that first week,” Ballard said. “But he’s really close to being ready. We don’t foresee any long-term (issues), going into the season at all. So most likely he doesn’t end up on PUP.”

» Tackle Anthony Castonzo: Ballard said the Colts’ veteran left tackle “tweaked a hamstring” last week while training on his own. At this time, Castonzo could start training camp on the Active/PUP list, but “it’s touch and go.” “We’re waiting; he’s making good progress,” Ballard said. “He came back and he’s rehabbing. If we do put him on PUP, it will not be a long-term (thing); it’ll be two or three days, and we don’t foresee any long-term issues. But he does have a little hamstring, and if he’s not out there the first couple days that’s why.”

» Wide receiver Krishawn Hogan: Hogan suffered a torn ACL Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers, but he looks “good to go” after having already passed that nine-month mark post-surgery. “We’re really pleased how he’s doing. We’ll have to be smart with his reps, you know, the first couple of weeks and not overload him, but he should be good and ready to go,” Ballard said.

» Linebacker Darius Leonard: The Colts’ second-round pick suffered a quad injury during the NFL Scouting Combine, and Ballard said he re-aggravated the injury during subsequent workouts. He tweaked the same quad injury once again during the Colts’ rookie minicamp, so the team decided to shut his on-field work down for the rest of the offseason. “We finally just said, ‘Let’s get him back healthy, and get him back right,’ and that meant us shutting him down and just rehabbing,” said Ballard, who added that Leonard is “good to go” for the start of training camp.

» Quarterback Andrew Luck: Luck missed the entire 2017 season after undergoing surgery to his throwing shoulder, but Ballard said Luck will be good to go without limitations to start camp next week (read more here).

» Running back Marlon Mack: Mack, we eventually learned, played through a significant shoulder injury during his rookie season last year, and underwent surgery earlier this year, forcing him to miss the entire on-field portion of the offseason workout program. But Ballard had good news about Mack’s availability for training camp on Friday: “Good to go,” he said. “He’ll wear a brace just for camp, but no limitations; good to go. No issues.”

» Tackle/guard Jack Mewhort: Mewhort has seen his last two seasons end on the Injured Reserve list due to knee injuries, but the team showed faith in their veteran lineman by re-signing him to a reported one year deal this offseason. He was mostly a full participant during offseason practices, and Ballard said Friday Mewhort is “good to go” for camp, although he’ll likely be given some veteran days off from time to time. “But he’s healthy and good to go,” Ballard added.

» Tight end Erik Swoope: Swoope underwent a knee scope just prior to the start of last season and was placed on IR. He was nearly cleared to return to the active roster later in the season, but just couldn’t get to 100 percent by the time the team faced a deadline to decide whether or not to activate him or revert him to IR. Swoope also missed the entire on-field portion of the team’s workouts the offseason, but Ballard said he’s “good to go” for the start of training camp. “You know, we’ll modify his reps early; we don’t want to just overload him because he didn’t get to do anything during OTAs and minicamp, but we’ll monitor his reps. But he’s good to go.”

» Guard Jeremy Vujnovich: Vujnovich, who suffered a calf injury, is more of a wait-and-see candidate to start training camp, Ballard said. “He had a pretty good pull on that calf, and that just takes time to get back from. So we’ll probably give you a little bit more information on him on Wednesday when he comes back in.”

» Others: Ballard said “everybody else should be good to go” in terms of those who “kind of had little dings” during the offseason program, naming cornerbacks D.J. White, Quincy Wilson, Chris Milton and Nate Hairston, specifically. Others who could be lumped into that category include running back Nyheim Hines, defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis, safety Ronald Martin, wide receiver Chester Rogers and linebacker Anthony Walker.

Be sure to keep it tuned to Colts.com on Wednesday, when the team reports to Grand Park for training camp, as head coach Frank Reich could have more updates on most, if not all, of these players.

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