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Colts' Tentative Plan For Playing Starters In Preseason Games Coming Into Focus

Head coach Frank Reich said on Saturday he'll probably play his starters a little bit more than in years past in two of the Colts' three preseason games. 

WESTFIELD, Ind. – It feels a little hard to believe, but when Frank Reich stepped to the microphone for a press conference Saturday afternoon, he did so exactly one week from kickoff of the Colts' preseason opener.

Yes, Colts football – even in preseason form – is one week away (or less, if you're reading this on Sunday).

The Colts haven't set a firm plan for how much they'll play their starters in their three preseason games (Aug. 13 at Buffalo, Aug. 20 vs. Detroit, Aug. 27 vs. Tampa Bay). But Reich said the blueprint is for starters to play a little more than in years past – although, again, he stressed that everything is still tentative, and it wouldn't be a significant jump in playing time.

"I'm just talking incremental – maybe an extra series from what we would normally do. Nothing is etched in stone," Reich said. "Chris (Ballard) and I have talked about this at length. It's like, generally speaking in the first game, it's a quarter. It will be a quarter but it really depends how many plays per series and all that stuff. We kind of have a play number. Then we'll make individual exceptions as needed, and we will determine that. That can only be determined as we get to that day.

"I would say in general, right now the plan would be to play a little bit more."

Players who will not play in the preseason will be determined on a case-by-case basis closer to kickoff, Reich said, but he added he wants every player to approach these preseason games like they'll play in them.

The exception here likely will be the Colts' second preseason game against the Lions, which will come on the heels of back-to-back joint practices with Detroit at Grand Park.

"Because we're having competitive practices against them, there's a good chance the starters won't play in that game because we've got two good days of work against them, it's highly competitive," Reich said. "(Head coach) Dan (Campbell) and I have already talked so that will probably likely be the plan for that game."

But no matter which players are on the field, and for how long they're on the field, the Colts will play a preseason game one week from Saturday.

"There's nothing like getting out there and playing live football," Reich said. "There's just nothing like it. It's what's so great about this game. It really takes guys to another level. I think it's good for everybody to get out there and play."

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