INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts on Sunday travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in their 2020 regular season opener at TIAA Bank Field — and, accordingly, it's time to check out the team's unofficial depth chart for the game.
Here's a position-by-position look for the Jaguars game, with some notes for each unit.
» WR: T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Dezmon Patmon
» LT: Anthony Castonzo, Chaz Green
» LG: Quenton Nelson
» C: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter
» RG: Mark Glowinski
» RT: Braden Smith, Le'Raven Clark
» TE: Jack Doyle
» TE: Mo Alie-Cox, Noah Togiai
» WR: Parris Campbell
» WR: Zach Pascal, Ashton Dulin
» QB: Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason
» RB: Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins
— The top two spots at quarterback have been cemented since mid-March, when the Colts signed the veteran Rivers to be their new starter, with the returning Brissett — the team's starter last season — now serving as the backup. Rookie Jacob Eason was able to claim the No. 3 job by showing off his impressive arm in training camp, while Chad Kelly has been re-signed to the practice squad. Rivers, by the way, is set to join some elite company this season: with 529 passes attempted, he'll pass Eli Manning (8,119) for sixth in NFL history; with 60 pass completions, 2,091 passing yards and 24 touchdown passes, he'll pass Dan Marino (4,967/61,361/420) for fifth all-time.
— The Colts finished seventh in the league in rushing a year ago — just 1.5 yards per game out of the top-five — and now they add the talented rookie, Taylor, to the mix, who finished his college career at Wisconsin as the No. 6 all-time rusher in NCAA history. Mack, of course, returns as the starter after earning his first-career 1,000-yard rushing performance last year, despite missing time with a broken hand. Also returning are Hines, a terrific pass-catching option out of the backfield for Rivers, and Wilkins, who has among the best yards-per-carry average of any running back in the NFL the last two seasons.
— With better health, the Colts are expecting big things out of their wide receiver corps in 2020. Hilton and Campbell were able to play just 10 and seven games, respectively, in 2019, but enter this season fully healthy and main focal points for a new quarterback in Rivers, who loves to push the ball down the field. Pascal is coming off a career year in 2019, and will be counted on to line up all over the formation and provide tough run blocking, while the exciting rookie Pittman Jr. stands to be the team's primary X-receiver on the outside. Rounding out the group are Dulin, one of the team's top special teams performers a year ago, and the rookie Patmon, who was able to earn a spot with a strong and consistent training camp.
— The Colts once again boast a very strong tight end group in 2020, a staple of head coach Frank Reich's offense. Returning are the dependable Doyle, who is coming off his second Pro Bowl selection in 2019, and Alie-Cox, who continues improving both as a blocker and in the passing game. On Saturday, the Colts claimed Togiai off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles; an undrafted rookie out of Oregon State, Togiai had 102 receptions for 1,048 yards and 10 touchdowns in 44 games with 37 starts for the Beavers. Another newcomer Trey Burton, who is strong in the run game and a strong weapon as a receiver, was placed on injured reserve today due to a calf injury, so he'll be missing at least the first three games of the season.
— The 2020 season will be the third straight year the Colts return one of the top starting offensive line units in the league in Castonzo-Nelson-Kelly-Glowinski-Smith; since 2018, Indy has allowed the third-fewest sacks in the NFL (50), and have the ninth-most rushing yards (120.3 per game). The veteran Castonzo last year was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate for the first time in his career; Nelson was selected First-Team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler for a second straight season; and Kelly earned his first-career Pro Bowl nod last year. The depth up front will also be key, however. Danny Pinter, the 2020 fifth-round pick, will serve as the top interior backup at both guard and center, while Le'Raven Clark and Chaz Green provide depth at tackle.
» DE: Justin Houston, Ben Banogu
» DT: DeForest Buckner, Tyquan Lewis
» NT: Grover Stewart, Taylor Stallworth, Eli Ankou
» DE: Denico Autry, Al-Quadin Muhammad
» WLB: Darius Leonard, Matthew Adams, Jordan Glasgow
» MLB: Anthony Walker, Zaire Franklin
» SAM: Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed
» CB: Rock Ya-Sin, T.J. Carrie
» FS: Malik Hooker, George Odum, Julian Blackmon
» SS: Khari Willis, Tavon Wilson
» N: Kenny Moore II, Isaiah Rodgers
» CB: Xavier Rhodes
— The Colts have lots of returners up front along the defensive line in 2020, but one key newcomer is expected to make a huge impact. In March, the Colts traded their 2020 first-round (13th-overall) pick to the San Francisco 49ers to acquire Buckner, who was named Second-Team All-Pro last season and at 26 is considered one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. Stewart, who is entering his fourth season, is expected to take on an even bigger role alongside Buckner, newcomers Stallworth and Ankou also add depth in the interior. The veteran Houston returns off the edge after logging a team-best 11 sacks in 2019, while Muhammad and Banogu also look to apply lots of pressure. Autry and Lewis, meanwhile, continue to add their versatility to the group, as they're able to play both inside and off the edge.
— Talent and depth is the theme for the Colts at linebacker, as the team elected to keep all seven of their players at the position coming out of training camp. The starting unit of Leonard, Walker and Okereke is about as strong as it gets across the league; Leonard, of course, is one of the top playmakers in the league, as he was selected Second-Team All-Pro and to his first Pro Bowl last year. But Walker is a solid leader and producer at the MIKE, while Okereke showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie last year. The rest of the unit — Franklin, Adams, Speed and the rookie Glasgow — are all critical special teams contributors and capable backups when needed.
— The Colts have a mix of returning firepower and talented newcomers at the cornerback position heading into 2020. Returning are starters Kenny Moore II, one of the top nickel corners in the league, and Rock Ya-Sin, who seems to have kept the momentum going into Year 2 after a strong end to his rookie season. New to the group are former All-Pro Xavier Rhodes, the versatile veteran T.J. Carrie and 2020 sixth-round pick Isaiah Rodgers, whose blazing 4.28-second 40-yard dash time this year would've been the second-best time at this year's NFL Scouting Combine.
— The safety position for the Colts is similar to cornerback heading into the 2020 season: a good mix of key returners mixed in with a couple newcomers. Back are starters Hooker, who is coming off a strong training camp, and Willis, who had a strong rookie season at the strong safety spot, as well as Odum as a key piece of depth. Newcomers include 2020 third-round pick Blackmon, who adds value in coverage as a former cornerback at Utah and as a thumper against the run, and the veteran Wilson, who was able to make a quick impression after being signed during camp.
» P: Rigoberto Sanchez
» PK: Rodrigo Blankenship
» H: Rigoberto Sanchez
» LS: Luke Rhodes
» KR: Nyheim Hines, Isaiah Rodgers
» PR: Nyheim Hines, Isaiah Rodgers
— It was the undrafted rookie Blankenship, the former All-American out of Georgia, who beat out Chase McLaughlin to win the Colts' kicking competition coming out of training camp. Blankenship finished his college career second in SEC history in points scored (440) and first in Georgia history in field goal percentage (82.5), while he converted all 200 of his extra-point tries. He'll be the first new Week 1 kicker for the Colts since 2005; Adam Vinatieri signed with the team a year later. The other specialists jobs for Indy are well-represented in the dependable Sanchez, who also handles kickoffs, and Rhodes. At returner, Hines looks to keep the momentum going after his historic performance returning punts towards the end of the 2019 season, while the speedy Rodgers and his aforementioned 4.28-second 40-yard dash speed is also always an option in the return game.