INDIANAPOLIS – We know of a dozen Colts that will not play in Saturday night's preseason contest at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Chuck Pagano would like to play his starters into the third quarter against the Eagles, in what will likely be their final action until Week One of the regular season.
On Thursday, Chuck Pagano ran down the list of injuries for his Colts. Also, Colts.com caught up with Henry Anderson to hear his thoughts on returning to practice.
At Thursday's practice Joe Reitz (back tightness) missed a second straight day of work. He's questionable for Saturday night. If Reitz can't go, third-round pick Le'Raen Clark would get the starting run at right tackle for the first time this preseason.
TE-Dwayne Allen (rest) and S-Dezmen Southward (sick) also missed the final practice of the week.
The following players will not play on Saturday night: DE-Henry Anderson (knee), CB-Jalil Brown (foot), CB-Antonio Cromartie (rest), CB-Vontae Davis (ankle), S-Clayton Geathers (foot), OT-Joe Haeg (ankle), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest), CB-Tevin Mitchel (hamstring), ILB-Sio Moore (hamstring), CB-Patrick Robinson (groin), CB-D'Joun Smith (ankle) and OG-Hugh Thornton (ankle).
Chuck Pagano on all the injuries his team is currently dealing with ahead of roster cuts:
"It's going to make things real interesting for next week."
Bowen's Analysis:* *It's been a preseason like really no other for Chuck Pagano. If the Colts were playing a regular season game on Saturday, it would be anyone's guess how they would handle the seven inactive spots. As Pagano put it on Thursday, those who don't believe in "Next Man Up" are about to get a "hard dose of reality."
A few years back we saw safety Delano Howell play all 90 defensive snaps in a preseason games. Things aren't that bleak at a particular position right now, but there won't be many calls to the bullpen during the second half on Saturday, when the reserves are fighting to make one final impression.Chuck Pagano on Antonio Cromartie not playing this weekend:
"He knows exactly what to do, but I'm not going to throw him out there.
"He's not had an offseason. He's in great shape, he knows the plan, he knows the terminology. He picked that up, being in a similar system helped. He could (play), but I'm not going to do it."
Bowen's Analysis: Tay Glover-Wright and Darius Butler are your likely starters at cornerback on Saturday night. When those two exit, a slew of undrafted guys will get a chance to impress. Pagano said the Colts will get creative in the secondary, but don't expect that to involve T.J. Green moving to cornerback (for now).
As far as Cromartie, count safety Mike Adams as someone impressed after working with him during practice this week. According to Adams, the man coverage skills are still there for Cromartie. It's about getting on the same page when the Colts incorporate more of their system in the backend. D'Qwell Jackson said Cromartie brought some intensity to practice this week. Look for Cromartie to make his Colts' debut when the regular season arrives on Sept. 11.
Henry Anderson on his first week back to practice in 2016:
"It was good. I didn't really anticipate any problems going in and felt even better than I expected it would.
"I'm really happy how it went."
Bowen's Analysis: Anderson practiced all three days this week and said he didn't have any unusual soreness. Anderson said his knee feels even stronger than it felt before the start of the week, and that's with going through a practice (three of them) for the first time since last November.
The trainers are going to be cautious with Anderson. The second-year defensive end believes the next step will be continuing to get more comfomrtable at hitting/engaging offensive linemen and cutting side-to-side. Anderson is not expected to play this preseason.